State environmental researchers work to recharge groundwater - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

State environmental researchers work to recharge groundwater

Matt Harper, GEFA Senior Water Supply Program Manager Matt Harper, GEFA Senior Water Supply Program Manager
A GEFA illustration of the plan to pump water from the Floridan Aquifer during times of excess water to the deeper Claiborne or Clayton aquifers, which could stored and later used during drought A GEFA illustration of the plan to pump water from the Floridan Aquifer during times of excess water to the deeper Claiborne or Clayton aquifers, which could stored and later used during drought
A DNR map of the Elmodel Wildlife Management Area in Baker County, where the project is planned A DNR map of the Elmodel Wildlife Management Area in Baker County, where the project is planned
NEWTON, GA (WALB) -

State environmental researchers say excess rain has recharged south Georgia Aquifers, but they're working on ways to keep them full during droughts.

The Georgia Environmental Finance Authority is planning a $5.1 Million Aquifer Storage and Recovery Project.  It would pump and purify water from the shallow Floridan aquifer when rain is plentiful and store it in deeper groundwater sources like the Clayton and Claiborne aquifers.

The water could then be used to refill the Chickasawhatchee creek and other streams during dry times.

"So long term testing entails looking at the aquifer levels, looking at the soil conditions, kind of filling the information gap that currently exists in this part of the state.  We don't know a lot about the aquifer's ability to basically accept this recharge water," said Matt Harper, GEFA Senior Water Supply Program Manager.

Harper said he's confident the project can meet the challenges facing the region's water supply.

"We have some great professionals on hand.  CH2m Hill has been contracted, they have an immense amount of national experience using this technology,"  he said.

The team plans to install monitor wells next summer in the Elmodel Wildlife Management area in Baker County.  They hope to design the state's first ASR by next fall, and plan to begin testing in summer 2016. 

A public meeting is scheduled at Baker County High school at 6:30pm to answer questions.  

 

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