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January 23, 2014

Water super: County now more prepared

MILLEDGEVILLE —

Baldwin County Water and Sewer Superintendent Jason Kidd sat in the front seat of a hellacious ride the last two weeks.

He delivered the play-by-play at Tuesday’s Baldwin County Commission meeting.

During recent extreme winter weather conditions, excessive usage and water pipe breaks caused water service interruption within several areas of Baldwin County and the City of Milledgeville.

Cold weather, busted pipes and running faucets essentially emptied multiple county ground storage tanks on the south, west and north sides.

“Whether it be a drip or a steady flow, it’s kind of amazing it drained our system that bad,” the water superintendent said. “It’s nerve-racking.”

Kidd said the county experienced 22 service leaks by Jan. 8.

“In the meantime, our tanks started dropping,” he said. “We realized something in the system was not right.”

Through conversations with Sinclair Water Authority, Kidd said parties decided to change water plant filters out that Wednesday.

Changing the filters took about eight hours.

“Our pressures and reserves were getting low in certain areas,” Kidd said. “The following morning at 4:30 a.m. we had a couple tanks empty, and I started stressing badly.”

The city allowed the county to tie into its water lines in order to boost storage levels.

Kidd said they county tied on at a rejuvenated Frank Bone Road station to fill up a storage tank on Hopewell Church Road. Line leaks in front of Baldwin High School created more problems.

Contractors assisted the county’s dire situation. Kidd said a remarkable six tanks had zero water.

County Manger Ralph McMullen said the county has never face more than three empty tanks at one time.

The Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) mandated a “Boil Water Notice” to county water customers due to the low pressure.

“Our water was not tainted,” Kidd said.

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