Bay County Continues Search for Alternative Water Supply - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Bay County Continues Search for Alternative Water Supply

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Bay county will still pursue an alternative water source for Deerpoint Lake, but a judge's ruling Friday prevents the county from moving forward with a well field in the Sand Hills Lake area.

The Sand Hills Area was a back up water source and now the county is looking for an alternate site again.

The Northwest Florida Water Management District voted to accept a judge's ruling that the county can't drill the well field on the border with Washington county. That sends the county back to its original back-up plan.

"[We] disagree with the ruling we are still going forward with an alternative water supply it just won't be at the well field site," said County Manager Ed Smith. "But, that was directed to us by the Water Management District. We had originally considered putting another pumping station farther north on Deerpoint and that's the plan we are going with now."

The two counties and the landowner have been battling over the well field. The vote Friday may have ended that dispute. The county says they will utilize Deerpoint Lake and see it as a positive plan for the future.

"We think it will be very successful," said Smith. "And I want to point out to that if we put another pumping station on Deerpoint it's not going to be taking twice as much water out of the lake. It will simply be another site farther north. So, if the dam is breached, there won't be all the salinity issues and surge so it will be a safer project for us."

Representatives from the Coalition to Save Sand Hills Lake said Friday afternoon they are satisfied with the judge's ruling.