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Jacksonville continues perfect record of no water quality violations

Jacksonville’s Water Works Utility continued its perfect record in 2012 by committing no violations of its operating permit, according to Water Commission President Jim Peacock.

“This year the water utility had zero water quality violations to report and we had the good fortune to be able to have a good record of zero violations for the past 13 years,” Peacock said.

Peacock’s comments were given to the Jacksonville City Council on Jan. 24 during its last regular council meeting.

Peacock previewed aldermen about what Jacksonville can expect in 2013.

“This year, the Safe Drinking Water Act water quality standards will become even more stringent and we are working with Garver Engineers and Central Arkansas Water works now to continue to provide the best quality water for our city while continuing to meet or exceed all SDWA standards,” Peacock said. “As we are all aware, we consistently strive to provide the citizens of Jacksonville with the best quality and service possible.”

Peacock said the utility has secured financing from the Arkansas Natural Resource Commission for $25 million in low interest loans that will be utilized for completing major infrastructure projects that will provide a safe and plentiful water supply to the city of Jacksonville beyond the year 2050.

“We are happy to report that construction has begun on our new three million gallon elevated water storage tank,” Peacock said. “This tank will replace our 65 year old, five million gallon ground storage tank and is slated to be complete in November of 2013.”

Peacock said work also has began on replacing and updating the utility’s Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) System.

“These modifications to our control system will be completed in February of 2013,” he said. “The Water Works is also expecting to have three additional pipeline projects begin this year with the south source 24-inch main and meter station project, the north/south water line project and the General Samuel 24-inch water line project.”

The North Belt Transmission Main Improvements Project was completed in 2012, Peacock said.

“This project consisted of a water plant expansion at Central Arkansas Water’s Jack Wilson Treatment Plant, an expansion at the Crystal Hill pump station, and 17.4 miles of new water lines,” he said. “The completion of this project gives Jacksonville the ability to supply up to 12 million gallons of water per day from Central Arkansas Water. Jacksonville’s proportional cost for these improvements was $11.2 million of the total $33 million project. We are proud to report that our participation in this project was accomplished without borrowing any money and was paid for solely from reserve funds that were saved for future water supplies.”

Peacock also told aldermen that the Lonoke White Public Water Authority Project has been funded through federal and state sources with a total funding investment of $55 million.

“This vitally important project will provide Jacksonville with a secondary water source should a catastrophic event occur in the water lines coming from Central Arkansas Water,” he said. “For other members it will provide a primary water source for their water systems in the near future and for years to come.”

The Lonoke White Public Water Authority Project began construction in 2012 and is scheduled to be completed in 2014.

“This vitally important project will include intake structure, a water treatment plant, and will also include over 50 miles of water transmission mains that will provide water to eight member communities, including Jacksonville,” according to Peacock.

Peacock said the utility is also looking forward to the benefits that will come from these and several other capital water distribution system projects.

“All of the projects are slated to be completed within the next two years,” he said. “This will allow our water system to continue to expand our service capacity and provide high quality water service to our community as the city continues to grow.”

Jacksonville Water Works is also in the beginning stages of working with the Little Rock Air Force Base in its effort to privatize its water utilities infrastructure.

“Privatization would allow Jacksonville Water Works the opportunity to operate, maintain, improve and assume all responsibility of LRAFB’s water system,” he said. “Not only would this project be financially advantageous to Jacksonville Water Works, but of great benefit to LRAFB as well. By ridding itself of utilities, LRAFB can then focus on specific mission requirements instead of system repairs and upgrades.”

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