ATLANTA — After more than 5 years in the making, Atlanta has a new water reservoir – and it’s one of largest in the country.
PC Construction and its partner, H.J. Russell, announced Tuesday the reservoir, located near the Westside Park at Bellwood Quarry.
The reservoir connects the quarry via a five-mile-long tunnel to two new pumping stations. Developers said it increases the city’s drinking water reserve from from three days to more than 30 days.
“A guaranteed, safe water supply is a critical component of economic growth, and this was particularly the case for Atlanta,” said PC President and CEO Jay Fayette. According to the U.S. Census, Atlanta was the fourth fastest growing metropolitan area in the country between 2010 and 2019. The city also hosts the world’s largest passenger airport. “When you look at it in this context, these water infrastructure upgrades are tremendously important. PC is proud to play a role in helping cities position themselves well for the future.”
The project, which first broke ground in August of 2015, began with the conversion of an existing 400 foot-deep rock quarry to a 2.4 billion-gallon raw water storage system. From there, the team used a tunnel boring machine, nicknamed “Driller Mike,” to dig, bore and install a 5-mile, 10-foot-diameter tunnel. That tunnel connected the quarry to two new pumping stations and 11 deep shafts, all which will work together to ensure residents and businesses have access to clean, safe drinking water especially during drought conditions and emergencies.
“By putting this tunnel in, the mayor is ensuring we will have a minimum of 100 years of reliable water supply, and that could potentially stretch up to 200 years,” said then-Atlanta Department of Watershed Management Commissioner Jo Ann Macrina.
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