Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

July 2, 2013

A good flow for EC water plant

Ezra Mann
Pauls Valley Democrat — The finish line only seems to get closer by the day for the Elmore City water treatment plant as the latest refurbishment steps are well into the construction phase.

For EC Public Works director Paul Martin it’s been nothing but full speed ahead as the project reaches the midway point with work on both the interior of the plant and the backwash lagoons and it won’t be long before the water itself gets flowing.

Aided by the decrease in regular rain showers as of late, the construction is looking to be close to meeting the ballpark goal of 180 days after the city was given the go ahead back in the spring with project contractors Downey Contracting LLC out at the site nearly on a daily basis.

“Somewhere about the middle of August we’ll be done with the backwash lagoon,” said Martin. “The primary construction should be done by then.”

The evidence can literally be seen going into place one piece at a time for the $398,036 enterprise with some of the tasks completed including finishing the construction of the lift station, readying the clarifier tank for water processing and a good bit of the painting work, said Martin. They have also laid a majority of the piping that will connect both lagoons with the plant and it works so well since they can adjust everything to fit the existing shell.

“They’re putting in a lot of new stuff,” said Martin, noting how additional work with the supervision of project engineer Robert Mullins of Mehlburger Brawley includes some of the early electrical necessities. “They’re basically using the old hull.”

However, as fast as things are going, Martin noted that even getting the water to the residents from their city lake source will require a series of steps, beginning with testing.

Before the water makes that first run through the pipes to homes and businesses across town the initial source will be collected in jars and examined in order to determine quality.

During this examination, Martin will find out what chemicals will be needed to treat the water before it heads to the tap and only after that will trial runs begin. After that the system will eventually be shocked with the necessary chemicals and the hope it will all be ready to go some time before the end of the year.

Elmore City will continue to purchase water from a rural water district via Pauls Valley; something that will likely continue, even if on a supplemental basis far down the road.

There are also efforts to help add water possibilities through applying for another grant to drill wells or even reopen old wells that might be used to put water into the lake if the Department of Environmental Quality approves.

“There’s a lot to it, not just putting water in it and filtering it out,” said Martin.

“We’ll do some trial runs, shock the system with chemicals and then do a mock run.”