Last week’s rainfall was good for the Bear Creek Reservoir.
Following the 3-plus inches of rain that fell Thursday and Friday, the 505-acre lake rose by more than two feet.
Operators had been able to pump a little water out of the Middle Oconee River into the southwest Jackson County reservoir as early as Dec. 5, but began pumping full-time Thursday, Dec. 11.
As of Tuesday morning, all three pumps continued to run full-time.
“I would say we’ll get to pump full force today and maybe tomorrow,” said Wayne Wilson, lead operator, on Tuesday.
Wilson said the lake level was at 690.53 feet Tuesday morning. That’s 4.47 feet below full, but just more than two feet above where the lake’s level was just a week earlier.
The forecast for the rest of the week offered some hope of rain to keep the river level high enough that the pumps can keep running. In addition to a 30 percent chance of rain Wednesday, the forecast called for 30 percent chance of rain Friday and Saturday and a 50 percent chance Sunday.
The Bear Creek Reservoir, which provides water for Jackson, Barrow, Oconee and Clarke counties, is filled by pumping water from the nearby Middle Oconee River. When river levels are sufficient, operators can pump 60 million gallons per day. During the drought, however, the stream flow has often fallen to the point where no water can be pumped to the reservoir.
City Reservoir Full
The Commerce Reservoir is not just full, but over full after 3.8 inches of rain last Thursday and Friday, Dec. 11-12.
Brian Harbin, director of water and sewer operations, said the reservoir level Tuesday morning was at 699 feet, 1.4 feet above full.