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Guyton turned on to saving water
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Guyton City Council expects to get its water withdrawal permit increased from the state Environmental Protection Division. It also wants to make sure its current customers aren’t losing water.

Alderman Philip King said the city will get an increase in its water permit from 320,000 gallons to 765,000 gallons next month. But there are certain guidelines Guyton has to meet, and one of them is a water conservation program.

The city is sending out letters to its water and sewer customers informing how to look for leaks and how to conserve water. The city council also may ask for Guyton Elementary School’s help, since the school is a primary user of the city’s water and sewer facilities.

“I want to get the kids involved,” Mayor Michael Garvin said.

City Attorney Ramona Bartos said Rincon has passed a much stricter ordinance than Guyton has on outdoor watering.

The city already has undertaken a water meter calibration and repair program and has updated its water meters. The city also needs to have a reuse water feasibility study done by August 2009 and evaluate possible alternate water sources.

“It’s not onerous,” Bartos said, “but it needs to be done.”

Guyton’s sewer fate also is tied to Springfield’s plans to expand its system. Springfield’s wastewater treatment plant takes in Guyton’s discharge and Springfield is getting ready to start on a new sprayfield.

The new water allotment will take care of the needs of everything now on the drawing boards for Guyton, but additional sewer capacity may remain problematic.

“We could start issuing taps in March,” King said, “but we don’t have a timeline from Springfield.”

King warned the city should not make any promises on new sewer taps until it receives a go-ahead from the EPD.

“Our hands are tied,” he said.

Garvin wants the city and its citizens to begin to push for water conservation measures and wants it to begin soon.

“The wheels need to be turning,” he said. “We need to get a buy-in from the schools, but initially we want it to start here. It needs to go out all over the county. It needs to go out all over Georgia.”