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Call Before You Dig

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Call Before You Dig

Should you plan to dig around buried piping, especially buried gas piping, the piping should be located in advance and all digging should be carefully done by hand in the vicinity of the pipe. You must contact the Georgia One Call Center at 800-282-7411 (or 811) three days before any digging by you or your contractor so that all buried cable may be located. This is a free service. Flag colors and what they represent: red: electric power lines, cable, conduit and lighting cables; orange: telecommunication, alarm, or signal lines, cable or conduit; yellow: natural gas, oil, steam, petroleum or other gaseous or flammable materials; green: sewers and drain lines; blue: drinking water; purple: reclaimed water, irrigation, and slurry lines; pink: temporary survey markings, unknown/unidentified facilities; white: proposed excavation limits or route.

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City ISO Rating Makes Large Improvement

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The Social Circle Fire Department completed their Public Protection Classification (PPC) survey analyzing the structural fire suppression delivery system provided by the City. The rating improved from 4 to 2 since the last review, six years ago. The ISO PPC rating influences prices and coverages set by insurance companies on personal and commercial property insurance.

The classification review by the ISO representative focuses on three main areas:

1) Emergency communications (emergency dispatch center) (10%)

2) Water supply systems (the amount of water necessary for fire suppression) (40%)

3) The fire department itself (equipment, staffing, training, geographic distribution of fire companies, operational considerations, and community risk reduction) (50%)

ISO PPC scores range from 1 to 10 with 1 being the best rating. Approximately 20 Fire Departments in Georgia have achieved a 1 rating. A 2 rating places the City of Social Circle among the top 3% of Fire Departments evaluated nationwide. Locally, the Cities of Loganville and Covington have a 2 ISO rating, and the City of Monroe has an ISO rating of 3.

The recent 2.5% water utility rate increases on City water service supported the completion of over $2M in improvements to the water system over the last two years, which contributed significantly to this City-wide rating improvement. Additional improvements which contributed to the improved ISO rating include: Fire Safety programs which have been implemented recently, such as Fire Safety inspections; the construction of Fire Station 17 on Willow Springs Church Road, which reduced response time to the industrial sector of high risk buildings; new sprinkler systems in some of the large industrial buildings; the continuation of an in-city Fire Training facility, now located behind Station 17; the increase in fire staffing to four persons per shift. For information on how this rating may reduce your homeowners insurance cost, please contact your insurance agent. For further information about Fire Safety within the City, contact Chief Zaydel at 770-464-0621.

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Georgia EPD Declares Level 1 Drought Response, Calls For Water Conservation

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Worsening drought conditions throughout most of the state have prompted a Level 1 Drought Response declaration from the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD).  This means public water utilities in 103 counties will be required to begin a public information campaign to help citizens better understand drought, its impact on water supplies and the need for water conservation.

According to the federal government’s U.S. Drought Monitor, https://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/CurrentMap/StateDroughtMonitor.aspx?GA the drought has affected the entire state with conditions ranging from abnormally dry to extreme drought.    As a result, most of the counties in Georgia must follow the Level 1 Drought Response requirements.

“This serves as a reminder for all Georgians to use water wisely,” said EPD Director Richard Dunn.  “It also gives public water systems an opportunity to educate their customers on the importance of water conservation.”

To determine the appropriate level of drought response, EPD considers several factors including precipitation, stream flows, groundwater, reservoir levels, short-term climate predictions and soil moisture.  EPD monitors and produces publicly available reports on these conditions on a monthly basis.

“The current flash drought we are in is primarily agricultural, but it can also affect water supply,” said state climatologist Bill Murphey.  “It came on quickly due to the intense daytime heating, lack of rainfall and sudden decrease in soil moisture we experienced in September.”

The public information campaign under a Level 1 Drought Response requires water utilities to circulate drought and water conservation information in one or more of the following: newspaper advertisements, water bill inserts, website homepages, social media and notices posted in public libraries.

The public information campaign will be required in the following counties: Appling, Athens-Clarke, Bacon, Baldwin, Banks, Barrow, Bartow, Bibb, Bleckley, Brooks, Bryan, Bulloch, Burke, Butts, Carroll, Charlton, Chatham, Cherokee, Clayton, Clinch, Cobb, Coweta, Crawford, Crisp, Dawson, Decatur, Dekalb, Dooly, Douglas, Echols, Effingham, Fannin, Fayette, Forsyth, Franklin, Fulton, Gilmer, Gordon, Grady, Greene, Gwinnett, Habersham, Hall, Hancock, Haralson, Harris, Heard, Henry, Houston, Jackson, Jasper, Jenkins, Johnson, Jones, Lamar, Laurens, Lee, Liberty, Long, Lowndes, Lumpkin, Macon, Marion, McIntosh, Meriwether, Monroe, Morgan, Murray, Newton, Oconee, Paulding, Peach, Pickens, Pierce, Pike, Polk, Pulaski, Putnam, Rabun, Rockdale, Schley, Screven, Seminole, Spalding, Stephens, Sumter, Talbot, Taylor, Thomas, Tift, Towns, Troop, Turner, Twiggs, Union, Upson, Walton, Ware, Washington, Wayne, White, Wilkinson and Worth counties.

In addition, the outdoor water use schedule required under the Water Stewardship Act of 2010 remains in place.  It limits outdoor water use year-round to the hours between 4 p.m. and 10 a.m.  There are several exceptions to this limitation listed at https://epd.georgia.gov/watershed-protection-branch/water-conservation.

For example, the following activities may be done at any time of day under a Level 1 Drought Response:

  • Irrigation of personal food gardens may be done at any time of day;
  • Irrigation of new and replanted plant, seed, or turf may be done at any time of day for 30 days after installation;
  • Drip irrigation or irrigation using soaker hoses may be done at any time of day; and
  • Hand watering with a hose with automatic cutoff or handheld container may be done at any time of day.

Public water systems may not impose restrictions on outdoor watering that are different from state requirements unless they obtain a variance from EPD. Currently, the City of Griffin and Coweta County have received variances for a Level 2 response, which restricts outdoor watering to two days a week.

EPD maintains a web page to keep the public informed regarding drought indicators, current variances,  and EPD actions regarding drought: https://epd.georgia.gov/about-us/watershed-protection-branch/drought-management.  Water conservation information is available at https://epd.georgia.gov/watershed-protection-branch/water-conservation.

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Public Community Meeting Regarding Wastewater System Master Plan

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The City will host a public forum on the Master Plan of improvements for the Wastewater system Monday, October 7, 2019 at the Community Room from 4 pm to 7 pm.  Infrastructure condition has long been a concern of our residents and businesses and affects the long-term economic vitality of the City. A master plan of needed improvements was completed, and is available online at https://socialcirclega.gov/documents/sewerage-system-master-plan/ for review.  Anyone who would like information on this plan, to view the projects recommended in the plan and their cost and anticipated timing, and ask questions of the engineers is welcome to attend this forum. Participants may drop in at any time during the forum, it will be informal with displays and opportunity for one on one discussions.

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Public Community Meeting Regarding Water System Master Plan

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The City will host a public forum on the Master Plan of improvements for the water system Thursday, October 3, 2019 at the Community Room from 5 pm to 7 pm.  Infrastructure condition has long been a concern of our residents and businesses and affects the long-term economic vitality of the City. A master plan of needed improvements was completed and is available online at https://socialcirclega.gov/documents/water-master-plan/ for review.  Anyone who would like information on this plan, to view the projects recommended in the plan and their cost and anticipated timing and ask questions of the engineers is welcome to attend this forum.  Participants may drop in at any time during the forum, it will be informal with displays and opportunity for one on one discussions.

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Technicians Flushing Hydrants Around the City

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You may see technicians in different parts of the city this week flushing hydrants as part of their normal periodic maintenance of the water distribution system.  This will improve taste and odor throughout the system.  If you notice that your water has a slight tint to it, this is temporary  and will clear up.  Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.

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