Corps to fund Pioneer’s allocation study

The Army Corps of Engineers is now willing to pay for a study to determine the quantity of raw water that Pioneer Rural Water District is eligible to draw from Lake Hartwell. That’s key to Pioneer’s plans for a treatment plant. At the start of yesterday’s meeting, Pioneer General Manager Terry Pruitt read aloud an email from the Army Corps stating the federal agency will fully fund the cost of the study which is to be completed by September 2015. But waiting nearly a year and a half could play havoc with estimated construction costs, as well as an approved grant from the U-S Department of Agriculture. Only three of the five Pioneer directors attended the meeting, and Pruitt received approval to schedule a special meeting to allow all five directors to decide what to do. One option, as outlined by Pruitt, would be to re-approach the Anderson Regional Water System to once again ask if Anderson would be willing to accept a payment from Pioneer to allow the Oconee-Anderson supplier to piggyback onto Anderson’s existing permit to withdraw Lake Hartwell water.