CASE STUDY: Solar-Powered Water Circulators Improve Reservoirs, Newton County, Ga. In early 2013, the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority approved $810,986 in financing for the Newton County board of commissioners to purchase and install solar-powered reservoir circulators called SolarBees in Lake Varner and City Pond. These bodies of water provide drinking water and recreational activities to the residents of Covington and Newton County. Lake Varner is an 850-acre drinking water reservoir completed in 1992 that is known as an excellent fishing destination. City Pond encompasses much of City Pond Park, which offers sixlighted baseball fields, an open park and two miles of walking trails. The pumps, produced by Medora Corporation, continually circulate water in the pond to inhibit the growth of algae, particularly toxic blue-green algae. Unchecked algae growth can deplete dissolved oxygen in water bodies, harming wildlife. In addition, blue-green algae blooms release toxic compounds dangerous to wildlife and humans. Newton County previously used chemicals to control the algae growth, but increased costs for the chemicals in recent years led county leaders to research new options for keeping the water supply safe. The pumps will save the county approximately $207,000 in chemical costs. The county will see a return on investment with the installed pumps in about four years. The SolarBee pumps are an important investment to the community, improving the water quality of Lake Varner and City Pond, reducing system costs, safe-guarding public health and protecting the ecosystem.