ARK:Too Much Watering, Too Little Water : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Too Much Watering, Too Little Water -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Story by Mike Hellgren Posted 7/10/01 7:19:48 PM

Little rain and steamy summer temperatures have put extra pressure on water systems throughout Arkansas. In Bald Knob, for example, the water treatment plant is working at above capacity to keep up with demand.

But that has city leaders nervous. They're asking people to conserve. The city's water treatment center was built almost 50 years ago. It takes water from Bald Knob Lake, which is getting smaller by the day.

The warning is clear on the doors of city hall. Conserve water voluntarily, at least for now. "Most of them have gone along with it pretty well. I am hoping it won't have to be mandatory." It's a problem Bald Knob's head water guy, David Padgett, has dealt with every summer.

All because the treatment plant can't handle the demand. "It's only designed to produce 800,000 gallons a day, safely." Right now, it's producing more than a million.

Many Arkansas communities have added safeguards to their water supply. Hot Springs has a new plant, Benton has a new reserve, and Searcy has made improvements to theirs.

And Searcy is where bald knob has turned for help. "Laying a line from our treatment plant to Bald Knob and all the way up to Bradford." Clarence Buckner heads the water department at Searcy. He says that project will cost more than $3 million. "It'll probably take another year or year and a half. Maybe two years."

Until then, this old plant will have to do, and watering lawns and washing cars will have to stop.

Little Rock has already had several complaints about water. With hot temperatures, demand is up and water officials tell us they have to open some valves. That's caused discolored water to come out the tap in some homes.

-- Martin Thompson (, July 11, 2001

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