An emergency operation is underway in the Alexander City area. Some 60,000 residents there are in danger of running out of water.
Running water is no longer a forgotten luxury for homeowners in Alexandar City. In about two weeks, if nothing is done, thousands of residents will have their taps go dry.
"As Lake Martin continues to drop to record low levels the current intake pumping system does not have the capability of pumping water up to the plant for treatment," explained Dana Raughton, CH2M Hill Project Engineer.
That's why an expensive emergency operation is underway. A team of engineers with CH2M Hill, the company who built Alexander Cities water treatment facility, found the solution.
"What we are anticipate doing is putting four pumps in the main river bed of the lake, which is the deepest portion and pumping water from there, through about 200 feet of pipe back into the intake facility and then we can pump it up into the treatment plant," Roughton said.
As of Tuesday Martin was at 476 feet. Engineers expect the current intake facility will begin having trouble at 475 feet. Lake Martin is dropping 13-hundredths of a foot each day. That means time is running out so construction will begin immediatly.
"Our contractor out of Birmingham is already mobilizing making sure he has the pumps, the pipes the electrical system everything he needs so the system can be in place in under two weeks." the CH2M Hill engineer explained.
The emergency pumping system is going to be expensive, about $500,000 with Alexander City footing the bill. Because the drought is responsible, the city is applying for federal emergency assistance.