Flooding creates drinking water problems

(April 27, 2004) — (Fayetteville-AP) -- Rains and flooding over the weekend in northwest Arkansas have caused problems for both drinking-water plants and sewage-treatment plants. Huge amounts of sediment washed into the White River because of the rain, making Beaver Lake water its muddiest ever. Water treatment plants reported murky water at record levels. Officials said some areas upstream of the district's intake reported as much as a foot of rain over three days. Alan Fortenberry, chief executive officer of Beaver Water District, said the dirt suspended in the water is difficult and expensive to remove. Heavy flooding south of Fayetteville also caused sewage overflows at lift stations and manholes. John Tenberge, administrative assistant for O-M-I, the company operating Fayetteville's wastewater plant, said the operation got hit hard. When lift stations are flooded, sewage overflows. Overflows are common problems during heavy rain or flooding. Additional flow from storm water mixes with regular sewage.