Belle Meade well providing free water for Metro

Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 11:45pm

Metro government has teamed up with a prominent Nashville real estate company to help complement the city’s supply of water.

When H.G. Hill Realty Co. CEO Jimmy Granbery broke ground two years ago on the recently opened Hill Center in Belle Meade, he came across on what’s essentially an endless supply of groundwater, furnished by nearby Bosley Springs.

Workers immediately started pumping thousands of gallons a day, water Granbery used to irrigate the property. Still, plenty of excess water remained.

Flash-forward to Nashville’s recent flood. As Nashvillians were asked to limit their water consumption, Granbery approached Metro Water Services Director Scott Potter to see if the city could use the Hill Center’s groundwater –– free of charge.

“It’s just crystal-clear spring water,” Granbery said. “It’s as clean and as pretty as any water you’ve ever seen.”

Given that Metro’s K.R. Harrington Water Treatment Plant was –– and still is –– facing at least a few weeks of repairs after being submerged by floodwater, Potter signed on.

As of last Tuesday, Metro Water Services has been using Granbery’s water to clean city streets and some of the department’s facilities, among other things. And after Metro’s water conservation efforts cease, it appears Metro will continue to take advantage of the free supply.

“We [Metro Water] have been using this water, instead of drinking water, for cleaning our facilities and for street sweeping,” Potter said in an email. “We are going to make this a permanent use once all this is over.

“This is an outstanding example of how the city is working creatively to solve hard problems,” Potter added.