Atlanta Complex Digs Deep

The Georgia World Congress Center Authority (GWCCA) will soon be able to water its green space and turn its fountains back on after a water ban that went into effect October 2007. Water restrictions are still in place, but the 200 acre campus will no longer be as much of a strain on the local water supply.

The GWCCA, which includes the Georgia World Congress Center, Georgia Dome, and Centennial Olympic Park, has bored two 660-foot deep wells. One is located at the northeast corner of the Park and the other is underneath International Plaza, which is in front of the GWCC’s Building B entrance. Water from the wells will be used for watering lawns and plants as well as operating ornamental water features.

A pump test to identify the rate of water flow is performed on the well located under Centennial Olympic Park.
A pump test to identify the rate of water flow is performed on the well located under Centennial Olympic Park.

The well at Centennial Olympic Park should be fully operational in 9 to 10 weeks, and the Georgia World Congress Center project will be complete in late August or early September.

Looking Long-Term
Since the City of Atlanta’s Level Four water ban was implemented, management at the GWCCA facilities has had to invest more than $100,000 in repairing, resealing, and recaulking water features that have dried out and cracked. Additionally, $500,000 worth of plant life on the campus has been lost.

“As an economic generator to the state, we welcome millions of visitors to the Park and GWCCA campus each year,” said Mark Banta, general manager of the 21 acre Centennial Olympic Park. “The wear and tear of foot traffic requires water to rejuvenate the plant life. Water from these wells will enable us to keep our 200 acre campus green.”

The Park project, which ties the well to the water garden storage and irrigation system, will cost $142,712. Testing has confirmed that it will produce 12.5 gallons of water per minute once construction is complete. Consequently, the investment will be recouped in just seven years. The GWCC project is estimated to cost $292,000, but can produce 54 gallons per minute meaning that it will take three years to recover the investment. Special piping in International Plaza that connects to cisterns below the plaza will also allow for water harvesting. The return on investment will be significant over time.

Banta explains, “Water harvesting takes rainwater that falls on the International Plaza and store it in cisterns for later use. The well uses underground water that exists already.”

“We are extremely pleased with the projected output of the two wells on our campus,” said Mark Zimmerman, general manager of the Georgia World Congress Center. “With local water limitations, we are happy that we’ll no longer have to put a strain on the state’s water supply and that, at the same time, we’ll be able to maintain much needed green space in our downtown area. The wells tie in perfectly with our continual goals to be good stewards of our facilities and to take responsibility for the huge impact we can have on the environment.”