No Water Worries for City of Augusta - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

No Water Worries for City of Augusta

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Augusta, GA -

Possible environmental concerns about big plans for the CSRA.

Wednesday, plans were announced for an outlet mall in the Village at Riverwatch next to Costco and the future Cabelas. That property backs up directly to the Augusta canal.

The canal provides up to 60% of Augusta's drinking water. So we brought your concerns straight to the director of the city's utilities department and he says your tap water, will stay good.

City of Augusta leaders say there's no reason to be concerned.

"We've looked at that and have known that was going to develop into retail for quite some time now and I think we're safe" said Tom Wiedmier, the director of Augusta Utilities. He wants you to know that the new outlet mall set to be built in the Village at Riverwatch will not have an effect on the nearby Augusta Canal.

Ground has not broken yet on the site for the outlet, but plans show it will back up to the Augusta Canal, which supplies up to 60% Augusta's drinking water.

The city has looked at ways to make sure there would be no runoff from construction or anything else that could go into the canal.

Wiedmier says, "One thing is that there is an adequate buffer maintained on the canal. That's important to us. that would help with any direct runoff."

State law requires at least 25 feet of undisturbed brush between the outlet mall and the Augusta canal to prevent anything toxic from going into the water.

"I feel very comfortable with the set up that we have and the development that is coming. We're blessed with a good system and a good source of water and I think our residents can rest assured," said Wiedmier.

The development is not expected to break ground until 50% of the units are sold. Developers hope that is by November of this year. If that happens, the outlet mall is expected to open in Spring of 2016.


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