Jemison receives good water report

Published 7:47 pm Monday, May 21, 2012

Jemison received a good report for its water quality and sewer system in 2011 as a representative from Southwest Water Company presented the city’s annual results in a council meeting May 21.

But at the same time, Mayor Eddie Reed and council members also received the troubling news that Jemison must meet new federal requirements related to its water’s phosphorus limits by April 1, 2013.

The requirements pertain only to the city’s sewer system, not to its drinking water.

Grady Parsons of Southwest Water said the new mandate calls for phosphorus limits of 0.3 milligrams per liter of water.
As part of the Cahaba River system, Jemison is currently at 2.0 milligrams per liter.

“These phosphorus limits are required in the growing season,” Parsons said, adding that the city needs an additional treatment component to achieve the new limit. “This is not an option; this is a requirement.”

Parsons said one option is for Jemison to pay for a used filter over an extended period of time.

“If you need something like this (filter), maybe we can provide that for you,” Parsons said. “We need to find some way to make it past that point (and) take that stress off you.”

April 2013 is the deadline for the city’s revised system to be in place. Otherwise, the Alabama Department of Environmental Management will heavily fine Jemison.

“It’s scary for us, too,” Reed said. “We have not had any other compliance violation since Southwest Water took over. We can’t afford it.”

Back to the good news, Jemison’s water report card for last year was positive once again.

“A real important category to have a zero in is water quality,” Parsons said. “Every month, you were in compliance in 2011. It’s a good report, and we’ve had three or four years like this.”

The council approved the report and voted to submit a resolution regarding the report to ADEM by May 31.

In other business, Tammie McGriff of the Jemison Public Library thanked the council for her position and invited everyone to the first “Fairy Tale Fun” production May 31 from 6-8 p.m.

The event will kick off the library’s summer reading program.