City works to improve water department

City works to improve water department

BLYTHEVILLE, AR (KAIT) - The city of Blytheville is working on a big project with their water department.

According to John Callens, the city's finance director, they're working on four projects to upgrade their water department.

To start off, Callens said the city will bring in a new 2,500-gallon well.

Blytheville currently has five wells. However, Callens said they're adding a sixth well as a backup.

"We're putting in a new well because it's been many years since we've put in a new well," Callens said. "We're also are going to change over to variable speed motors rather than our durable speed motors on our wells."

In the past, Callens said they had to rely on using paper maps. However, they're going to install a new GPS system to operate all meters and shut-off valves.

"It will give us a digital map of the whole city's water system," he said. "If something happens 20 years from now, they can go back to this digital system and pull up exactly where everything is."

The city is also redoing six filters connected to the water department.

Callens said the base of the filters has to be replaced in order to do a better job in iron removal.

"We have really good water here in Blytheville," he said. "But, we do have iron in our water when it comes out of the ground. These filters will basically remove the iron before it goes out to the citizens."

Callens said the city has signed a $4.5 million bond with Stephens out of Little Rock.

He said they're expecting to have these new upgrades in by 2018.

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