In spite of recent precipitation in the area water quality issues still plaque the region. Donnie Sandifer, General Manager at James Fork Regional Water District, stated that the reservoir level did not rise during the rains due to the dryness of the ground.
“We just did not get the runoff that we needed,” said Sanderford. “Pretty much all of it was soaked up and we didn’t get the creeks running off the mountain like we needed. If we keep getting rain it will help eventually.”
Sanderford stated that they have changed the point at which they are drawing water and that the water quality appears to be improving. “The water seems to be better at the plant,” said Sanderfor. “Right now we just have so much in the system that it is going to take a little while to get all of that out of our tanks and lines.”
Greenwood purchases 80 percent of their water from James Fork during the winter months according Greg Cross, Water Treatment Director for the city. Greenwood is under contract with James Fork to buy 15 million gallons each month. Cross stated that the city sells between 19-20 million gallons during the winter months and between 20-27 million gallons during the summer.
Earlier this month Sandifer stated that the reservoir is at its lowest point since it was built and is 16 foot below normal. Sandifer stated that the lake has turned over and that the reservoir turns over twice a year but that when water levels are normal it is not an issue.
Engineering Director for the Arkansas, Jeff Stone, stated that his department has received complaints about the taste and odor of the water and said that he has been in close contact with James Fork. Stone stated that the samples that the department of health has received from James Fork have been shown to be bacteriologically safe.
Stone explained that the treatment plants have been verified to ensure that they are working correctly. Treatment plants are tested in 10 different areas each month and more frequently when there are any issues.