After mulling it over for a month, the Jackson County Water and Sewerage Authority appears ready to begin a new approach to providing water service.
It expects to approve a “neighborhood water line policy” Thursday night. The authority meets at 6 p.m. in its Martin Luther King Jr. Drive office in Jefferson.
Essentially, the policy change will enable the authority to use PVC water pipe in certain circumstances to serve residential pockets not currently served by county water. Its current policy requires ductile iron pipe.
Between the effects of the recession and the fact that it will have no special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST) revenue in the foreseeable future, the authority came up with the policy as a (relatively) inexpensive means of adding water customers.
High-grade PVC is less costly than ductile iron pipe, and because it is lighter and easier to install, the authority’s water crew can install the lines. All previous line construction has been contracted out.
Chairman Randall Pugh pointed out that the new policy is “the only way” the authority will be able to reach out to new areas.
“New subdivisions, if they come back, will take care of themselves,” Pugh pointed out.
Developers will still be required to install ductile iron water lines under authority stipulations.
Requests for water service will be handled case-by-case depending upon the cost effectiveness of each project. Likewise, whether or not such lines, which will be limited to 15,000 feet, will include fire protection will also be determined on a case-by-case basis.