CBWD crosses a river and takes aim at pH

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The Carroll-Boone Water District began 2017 with expensive news. As part of the parallel transmission line project, CBWD needed to add a 42-inch pipe to get from one side of the Kings River to the other. Engineer Brad Hammond told commissioners the original plan had been to bore a tunnel under the river, but after several attempts the unstable conditions forced them to choose an open cut across the river to lay pipe and encasement nine to ten ft. below the surface. The overall project, which was completed in spring, eventually came in almost $1,000,000 over the original estimate.

On a different project, engineer Chris Hall said he procured a grant to help secure a portion of Keels Creek which was eroding perilously close to the transmission line. He expected the grant to save CBWD as much as $465,000.

Hammond also introduced the concept of implementing a plan for enhanced Lead Copper Rule compliance to make lead less soluble in water. Hammond estimated cost of implementing the program would be $325,000 with annual cost of $70,000.

In April, Hammond presented his initial plan to slowly adjust the pH of the water to decrease solubility of lead and copper in the pipes. His proposal was to take about a year to alter pH levels of water they send to customers from 7.5 to a range of 8.2 – 8.6. He told commissioners he had already spoken to representatives of each city and there was “a general concurrence on the proposed approach.” The board approved a motion moving the project forward.

In July, Plant Manager Barry Connell told commissioners it was load-shedding season because higher summer temperatures increased the cost of electricity, so at peak usage times he was using generators to power operations. Office Manager Cathy Klein said they save probably $140,000 every year by implementing the load-shedding strategy. She also mentioned the board should prepare for replacing a generator at some point, and it might cost $1-3 million.

Hammond announced Phase 1 of the parallel transmission line project was complete. He claimed the project was saving CBWD money in energy costs because there was less friction in the lines.

In October, Klein announced the cool, wet year meant less than projected water sales, but they monitored expenses closely to offset the shortfall. She said she would adjust her 2018 budget to reflect more cool, wet weather. Klein also mentioned her long-range plan included $4.8 million in repairs over the next three years.

Hammond said the Memorandum of Understanding with four customer cities had not been updated in 20 years. He presented a new one, which included an increase of five cents per thousand gallons of water. Harrison had already formally approved it, Berryville had approved but not signed, and Green Forest had reviewed and had no exceptions. Eureka Springs was still considering it.

The MOU included a revised connection policy that clarified the policy for adding new connections to the transmission line. Klein also wanted to implement a collection policy so that once Carroll-Boone sells water it can collect in a timely fashion in order to make its bond payments on time. The board decided to wait.

Hammond presented the plan for adjusting the pH of the water, and the board accepted a bid to install the infrastructure and equipment.