A handful of concerned residents, the mayor and three City Council members turned out last week for a public meeting on Clinton’s water system.
Little new information was offered at the meeting, but engineer Todd Beaver of McClelland Consulting Engineers talked about the three options Clinton had to get the sedimentation out of its water.
The first option was adjustable intakes in Greers Ferry Lake. That option, Beaver said, would be "really expensive" and wouldn’t adequately solve the problem anyway.
The second option was a large regular clarifier system in which chemicals would be used and lots of concrete would be required. The cost upfront would be high, Beaver said. Clinton Mayor Roger Rorie said another reason this was not a good option is because space is very limited at the water treatment plant.
The third option was a quicker clarifier, the Actiflo, in which sand is used to clean the water. The sand, Beaver said, attaches to particles and sinks to the bottom. The sand can be cleaned and used again and again, he said.
Beaver said the funding agencies want Clinton to install the Actiflo system. The state is providing a $1.4 million matching grant to the department and the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission is providing the other $1.4 million. The final cost of the project will not be known until it goes out for bid, Rorie said.
After several problems with the water system, the Arkansas Department of Health ordered the city to have its problems fixed by February 2014 or face fines of as much as $7,000 per month. It will be at least 10 months from now until the Actiflo is installed, Beaver said.
Rorie said as long as the solution is in sight and work continues, the health department will not levy any fines.