Blytheville water plant seeking upgrades

Blytheville water plant seeking upgrades

BLYTHEVILLE, AR (KAIT) - The Blytheville water plant is looking at upgrading their water system.

According to Greg Hamlett, assistant manager for Blytheville's water plant, they are upgrading the city's water system mainly for the protection of the community.

Hamlett said the city's water plant sits right in the middle of a residential area.

Hamlett said they are switching to liquid bleach from chlorine gas because of the people living nearby.

"We're in a target area with the chlorine gas," he said. "There's a lot of houses here, and it's [liquid bleach] for the safety of the area."

Hamlett also said using liquid bleach will be more economical and a safer route when it comes to using their equipment.

However, he says they're currently using chlorine gas but have taken the extra steps to make sure it's secure from the community.

"If you were to have an exposure it could be problems as far as a toxic inhalant," he said. "And it can also cause some very serious health effects if you breathe it."

Hamlett said everything that they do in handling chlorine gas is under the guidelines of the EPA.

However, he said switching over to liquid bleach is a little bit different in price.

Jon Callens, chief financial officer of Blytheville, said they're currently working on several projects for the water department.

"We're planning on replacing filters at the water treatment plant," he said. "Also, the addition of a new well and a GPS mapping system for meters and valve locations."

Callens also said in order to complete these projects, the city is issuing a $4.5 million revenue bond.

"We're all just trying to be as safe as we can possibly be," he said. "And that's one of the main reasons why we're looking at changing."

The target deadline the water department has set for this project is 2018.

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