Geotechnical Boring Begins in Atlanta’s Massive Water Supply Project

The next step toward Atlanta’s 30-day water supply begins today with geotechnical boring. Next week, the Department of Watershed Management (DWM) will start the construction to sample rock quality along the tunnel boring machine’s future route.

Geotechnical boring provides engineers with information to understand and determine underground conditions by drilling, imaging and testing rock cores for fractures. In addition, it ensures a stable foundation for the installment of the tunnel.

On Monday, a drill rig will bore a shaft 2 in. in diameter and 300 ft deep at 1800 Ellsworth Industrial Drive NW. The bore will pull out rock cores, allowing engineers to conduct packer testing of the rock’s permeability and perform downhole geophysics to gather images of the rock in preparation for the arrival of the tunnel boring machine.

Construction at the Ellsworth location will be performed between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and is scheduled to conclude by May 20. Once construction is complete, the shaft site will be filled with bentonite and grout. Traffic control will be set for the duration of the construction, with one lane closure.

The reservoir will be filled with 2.4 billion gallons of raw water storage by the end of 2018, increasing the city’s supply from three days to 30 days.

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