Drought forcing Lynchburg to rely on "secondary" water source

By Rob Manch - Reporter

LYNCHBURG (WSLS 10) - After months of drought, the City of Lynchburg is having to pull water from the James River to meet demand.

That water makes up 30 percent of the city's supply, with the other 70 percent coming from the Pedlar Reservoir in Amherst County.

The Water Resources Department is working to keep from depleting the reservoir that's being drained at the rate of an inch a day.

Director Timothy Mitchell says it costs more to treat the water, but there's also an added cost just to get the water to the treatment facility.

"We actually have to pump the water from the river to the treatment plant, that's an added cost too. Overall it's about 200 dollars more per million gallons. We use about 10 million gallons per day, so a couple thousand dollars per day additional cost," said Mitchell.

Mitchell says the department does have extra funds to cover the cost, so rates won't go up.

He says this is the first time in four years the department has had to pull water from the James.

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