This letter is about a proposed water bottling plant to be located at 3312 Sally Road. The water for the bottling plant will be drawn from a well located on the property. The property owner, Mr. Franklin Graham from Holmes County, Florida has obtained a Future Land Use Map Amendment change for 5 acres of the property from Agriculture/Silviculture to Light Industry.
If this water bottling plant will truly be a small Mom & Pop operation and have no negative impacts on the local community, I am all for it. However, after listing to Mr Graham’s statements to the Washington County Planning Commission and the BOCC, I do have some concerns. They are:
1) Water consumption and where will it go.
2) Road impacts.
Water consumption and where will it go:
At the Washington County Planning Commission meeting Mr. Graham stated he would use no more then 60,000 gallons per month. At the BOCC hearing Mr. Graham stated he is looking into contracts with 5 WalMart stores for 30,000 gallons per store, per month. Do the math... 30,000 * 5 = 150,000 gallons per month, more then double what he told Washington County Planning Commission.
Where will the water go? We have one WalMart in Washington County, so 80% of water to WalMart will leave the county and that does not include the other contracts Mr. Graham wants with Publics, the Military, FEMA and Red Cross.
Mr. Graham states his well will be 200’ deep and will not impact neighbors, however, the majority of wells in this area are 200’. Do you realize 150,000 gallons of water per month, is the same as putting 33 new homes on Mr. Graham’s 5 acres and each has its own well.
At the Washington County Planning Commission meeting Mr. Graham stated “we may have 10,000 gallons loaded to take to the store”. Water is heavy, 8.34 pounds per gallon and 10,000 gallons of water weighs 83,400 pounds, the equivalent of a loaded log truck. Regular loads of that much weight, will impact the roads and County Engineer expressed those concerns to the BOCC.
Mr. Graham states he wants to contribute to the community by brining in five or more jobs. Great, but will 150,000 gallons per month of bottled water support those employees?
Hopefully this letter will get people talking and thinking. To learn more watch these two short videos.
10/03/2017 Planning Commission Meeting https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTZZUza6keU
10/11/2017 BOCC Public Hearing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kDrymjlWEs