Calera taps new water

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Calera Water Board will soon start pumping 10 million gallons of water a day from a limestone quarry off of Alabama 25.

City leaders signed an agreement Wednesday with representatives of Lafarge North America that will allow the city to use water from the company&8217;s underground mines.

&8220;This is the greatest thing to ever happen to Calera,&8221; said Bobby Joe Phillips, water board chairman and city councilman. &8220;Nobody will know how this all transpired 50 years from now, but they will still be using the water.&8221;

Travis Reed, plant public affairs manager, said the project has been in the works for more than a decade.

Reed said it could take several months before the city actually starts using the water.

The water board must first build a filtration plant on Shelby County 107. The plant must by operational no later than Oct. 1 to meet an Alabama Department of Environmental Management deadline set because of bacteria at the city&8217;s No. 1 well.

In the interim, Phillips said residents should hope the summer of 2007 is much wetter than last year, when the city imposed strict water restrictions and fined violators.

&8220;There&8217;s just no way to finish by this summer,&8221; said Phillips. &8220;We&8217;re just going to pray for rain, if not we may be back on watering restrictions.&8221;