Savannah city officials are pushing the US Army Corps of Engineers to build a new drinking water reservoir on the Savannah River.
The project is being considered as part of a proposed harbor deepening project.
The deepening will send more saltwater upriver.
And since the city gets much of its drinking water there, officials are concerned, the saltier water will corrode pipes, causing toxic lead to leach into the water.
City Water Resources Director Bob Scanlon says, the deepening will affect drinking water most when the river's low.
"The reservoir would give us the ability to turn the pumps off and to work out of the reservoir during those periods," Scanlon says. "At periods of low river flow when we have these high chlorides, we basically would be able to work out of the reservoir instead of working out of the river."
A 30-acre reservoir could cost about $30 million, a tab Scanlon expects to be paid by the deepening's federal and state sponsors.
A Corps of Engineers spokesman says, the agency is still studying how the proposed deepening will effect drinking water and a host of other environmental issues.