Park Owner Fears Bottling Plant Would Harm Her Well
Diane King is all for green development and new jobs.
But she worries that a green industrial park planned for the west side of Deer Lake Golf Course near Springfield, Mo., could cause problems for her KOA Campground business nearby, the Springfield News-Leader reported.
The Deer Lake Industrial Park intends to build a water-bottling plant, using the golf course's deep well as its source for spring water.
Phase 1 of the project also includes a plant that will manufacture a bioreactor machine that turns organic waste into water.
The businesses will create 70 jobs, according to industrial park developers.
After a public hearing Tuesday evening (July 20), the Greene County Planning Board voted unanimously to recommend a zoning change that will permit the project to move ahead, with county commission approval.
But first, the board heard from King.
"We are concerned about the water table and their well's effect on our business," King told the planning board.
"We're on a well that functions very satisfactorily, but the water table is already going down."
The board recently got an updated report about the water-bottling plant's impact on groundwater levels.
According to the study, the bottling plant would use up to 25,000 gallons of well water a day.
That pumping rate would cause the groundwater level to drop 1 foot — and stay that way — 1,000 feet from the well.
However, Robert Phillips, managing partner in the Deer Lake industrial park, said the bottling plant will use fewer than 25,000 gallons a day — a small fraction of the well's 1 million gallon-a-day pumping capacity.
A hydrogeology consulting firm his company hired concluded the bottling plant would draw down King's well only 8.6 inches — after 100 years of pumping at that rate.
Presiding Commissioner Dave Coonrod, a planning board member, encouraged area residents who have wells near the industrial park to get some baseline data on their wells.
"Then keep tabs on how your individual wells are impacted," Coonrod said.
Among a list of 11 conditions on the industrial park was a requirement that golf course well water could only be used for products and the well had to have a meter to monitor how much water it extracted.
Phillips said he had no problem with any of the conditions.
"We are excited about the development and we're excited to work with the county," Phillips said.
The issue will go before the Greene County Commission at 9:30 a.m. on Aug. 2.