Reclamation plan to turn quarry into giant water reservoir

By |  July 6, 2015

The Bellwood Quarry, a 100-year-old granite quarry in Atlanta, has generated a lot of talk in Georgia lately. The quarry will soon undergo construction to be converted into one of the nation’s largest urban water storage reservoirs and a park.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC), Vulcan Materials Co. sold the Bellwood Quarry property to the city of Atlanta for $40 million in 2006, as the quarry finished operations. Aside from trespassers and several TV and movie crews, the quarry has remained almost untouched the last decade.

Turning the Bellwood Quarry into a water storage reservoir will cost Atlanta an estimated $270 million, the AJC reports, but the city thinks it will be worth the expense. Currently, Atlanta only has a three-day backup water supply in case of drought or emergency. Jo Ann Macrina, Atlanta’s Department of Watershed Management commissioner, told the AJC that the reservoir would provide Atlanta a 30-day raw water supply, which could be extended to 60 or 90 days if water is used conservatively.

Pumping stations will be built to draw water through a 10-ft.-wide tunnel about 200 ft. underground, which will connect to the Hemphill Water Treatment Plant. A second tunnel will connect the plant to the quarry.

Although the Bellwood Quarry has been an eyesore to locals the last decade, it’s great to hear that the 100-year-old granite quarry will continue giving back to its community. The reclamation plan seems beneficial to locals, as it incorporates both fun and practicality with a park for recreation and a backup water supply for emergencies.


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