Pembroke’s plan to get water from Bulloch County took a big step forward this month, after council members approved spending nearly $2 million in grants on the project.
Work could begin in September, according to Pembroke City Administrator Alex Floyd.
The new well, which increases the city’s water capacity from about 300,000 gallons of water per day to about 500,000 gallons per day, will be less than a mile inside Bulloch County.
Officials say Pembroke was forced to go into Bulloch for more access to water because all of Bryan County is in the Georgia Environmental Protection Division’s yellow zone restricting additional groundwater withdrawals.
Bulloch, on the other hand, is inside the EPD’s green zone despite the county line being a short distance from Pembroke.
The restrictions by the EPD are meant to protect the Floridan aquifer from saltwater intrusion.
Floyd said the project has been a “long time coming” and began several years ago under former Mayor Mary Warnell’s administration.
The only stipulation Bulloch County had was that the water be used only for residential purposes, Floyd said.
“We can’t bring in a paper mill,” he said.
Once the well is finished, the city will shut down its well behind city hall. Another well on Harn Street will stay in operation. Both older wells were built in the 1940s, Floyd said.
The United States Department of Agriculture is helping fund the project, which is also being paid for by Community Development Block Grant. Together, the two funding sources will pay about $1.9 million to dig the new well run pipe to Pembroke and build a new water tank.