Brant Keller: Griffin water shortage “marginal to critical”

Recent rainfall has slightly improved water levels at the Head Creek Reservoir, but not to levels sufficient to alter the city of Griffin’s near-critical water shortage. “It was down 40 inches in the middle of September. That rain helped us a little bit,” said Public Works Director Brant Keller. Current levels are slightly over 38 inches. “Usually in these months, we get around 3.5 inches of rain in the area, but we’ll be lucky to get that, from what the (forecast) models are saying,” he said. “The current estimate is we’re good through the end of December now.” After a ban on all outdoor water use was implemented in mid-September, Keller said the city has conserved millions of gallons of the precious commodity. “So far, since Sept. 15 when we put it in place, we’ve seen a decline of around a half-million to three quarters of a million gallons per day,” he said. Prior to that date, usage amounted to approximately 10 million gallons in the month of June, 9.33 million gallons in July and 9.79 million gallons in August. Rainfall over that same time frame totaled 1.89 inches in June, 7.13 inches in July and less than three-quarters of an inch in August. Keller classified the situation as “marginal to critical,” and said his office has been communicating with neighboring counties’ water authorities to prepare for a worst-case scenario in which water levels do not supply water sufficient to meet local needs. “We’ve already contacted Clayton County, Henry County and Butts County. We’ve tested our system and can make the proper connections, if needed. The piping is already there. We won’t run out of water, but we’re going to be tight,” Keller said. “We’ve been here before. We’ve been as low as 54 inches down, but we’re not going to get that low this time. Surely sometime between now and December, we’ll get some rain.”

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