The ongoing drought has affected water levels in Big Moccasin Creek, where water travels through intake pipes to Scott County water customers. Erica Yoon
ROGERSVILLE — With its main water source of Big Creek flowing below normal levels, the Rogersville Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted Tuesday to look for grant funding needed to find new water sources.
Water Superintendent Jimmy Bible told the BMA Tuesday that there was sudden drop in the flow of Big Creek last Wednesday afternoon.
Within a short time during the afternoon, the flow dropped from 6.3 cubic feet per second to 1.5 cubic feet per second (a decline of more than 76 percent).
Bible said initially he thought it was a gauge malfunction, but the gauges checked out OK. Then he though someone might be irrigating from the creek upstream, but a check showed no irrigation.
In fact, the creek had dropped the same level all the way upstream into the Stanley Valley community.
The next step was to kick in the water system’s alternative sources of water.
“We’ve got two wells and the town spring to draw from, and we started those up to meet our needs,” Bible said. “We’re filling our tanks and supplying our customers. The creek has come back up to approximately 3.2 (cubic feet per second).”
By bringing the wells and spring online, the actual flow into the treatment plant was increased to the equivalent of 4.5 to 4.6 cubic feet per second.
It’s not time to begin panicking about a water shortage yet, Bible said, but if the water supply drops much more, the emergency conservation plan will be initiated.
When the flow drops below 4 cubic feet per second for three consecutive days, the system initiates a voluntary water conservation program in which the community is asked to decrease usage.
At 3.5 cubic feet per second, a 15 percent voluntary water cutback is initiated. At 3 cubic feet and less, the water cutbacks become mandatory.
Monday evening the Rogers- ville Water Commission voted to authorize Bible to seek grant funding needed to find additional water sources. Tuesday evening the Rogersville BMA unanimously approved a resolution ratifying the Water Commission’s action.
“I’ve notified TEMA, our state representative, and all the proper notifications as outlined in our emergency response plan have been done,” Bible told the BMA Tuesday. “Let me emphasize that we are meeting our current needs.”
In other business Tuesday the BMA:
•Appointed William Phillips II to complete the term of former Rogersville School Board member Eddie Terry, who resigned this past summer following the appointment of his wife, Sherry Terry, to the director of schools position.
Phillips is an attorney in Rogersville and is also the son of Rogersville City Attorney Bill Phillips. He fills the vacant school board seat that city officials forgot to hold an election for last year.
Terry had been appointed in 2004 to complete the term of former board member Dudley Cupp when he died. That term ended in 2006, but no one remembered to put it on the ballot.
Bill Phillips said this board seat will likely be placed on the next available ballot, most likely when the county primary elections are held next May.
William Phillips II would hold the seat until that time.
•Authorized the mayor to accept and sign a contract for a $20,000 grant to replace light bulbs within the city. Chamber of Commerce Director Nancy Barker explained to the board that the city was eligible for the $20,000 grant thanks to being named recently as a participant in the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Main Street program.
•Appointed City Recorder Billy Lyons at chief financial officer for the city, as is required by new legislation passed on to municipalities from the State Comptroller’s Office.
•Approved a resolution authorizing the streets of downtown Rogersville to be blocked during designated hours this coming Friday, Saturday and Sunday for the Heritage Days festival, as well as on Oct. 29 for a new downtown Trick-or-Treat program being organized by the chamber of commerce.