Lakeland says 'goodbye' to rusty water - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Lakeland says 'goodbye' to rusty water

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By Robin Jedlicka - bio | email

LAKELAND, GA (WALB) - The city of Lakeland is known for its water... and that's not necessarily a good thing.

For decades now, rusty black water has come out of the city's faucets.

"The city has to provide an additive to the water to wash clothes--that's how bad it is," says Justin DuVane, Community Development Specialist.

Monday, Lakeland broke ground on a new Water System Improvements Project.  This will replace the dirty water with clean water that won't need to be treated.  The project will provide over 15 miles of new water main and two massive renovated water tanks.

But many wonder how the city's water got so bad.  Chad Griffin, Project Engineer, explains, saying, "The city of Lakeland--the majority of their water system was put in the 1930's. It's a cast iron system, and their water is aggressive. It's breaking down that cast iron line--like anything that rusts. It's rusting from the interior out."

The city will work with Carter and Sloope Engineers to incorporate two-and-a-half-million dollars of new equipment.

The new water will not only be an asset to citizens of Lakeland. The water is distributed throughout Lanier County schools in the city, and will benefit the children and faculty there.

Mayor Darsey explains that the water improvements will make the city safer by providing more pressure for fire hydrants. Lakeland will even add 80 hydrants.  "We hope to get the insurance rates on our homes and our businesses down by having more water pressure," says Mayor Darsey. 

The city hopes citizens will take pride in this improved quality of living.

"It's going to make people feel confident that the service they're paying for is going to be truly usable," adds DeVane. 

Engineers say the project will take a couple of years to reach completion.  Mayor Darsey assures citizens that even though water quality will be greatly improved, the city will not raise any water rates. The city of Lakeland hopes these improvements will help their city become a model city for cleanliness and quality living.

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