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The Little Rock Water Reclamation Authority has received a $500 million investment



Little Rock, Arkansas – With a $500 million investment, The Little Rock Water Reclamation Authority has been attempting to lower sanitary sewer overflows over the past 20 years. 339 sanitary sewer overflow spots were successfully decreased by LRWRA throughout Little Rock City.

The infrastructure will be improved, groundwater and precipitation will not enter the system, and the system’s capacity for storage and treatment will be increased.

“Adams Field is the oldest facility for the state of Arkansas and the largest wastewater facility in the state of Arkansas,” said Walter Collins, Director of Operations at Little Rock Water Reclamation Authority.

Serving the community by safeguarding the environment and public health, as well as spearheading the industry by reclaiming water for a more sustainable future, is the objective of LRWRA.

“We spent 500 million dollars over the course of 20 years,” said Jean Block, Chief Executive Officer of Little Rock Reclamation Authority. “We used that money to repair or replace many portions of our 1400 miles of collection system. We also used those funds to make improvements to some of our assets here at our treatment plant here at Adams Field, as well as our other treatment plants.”

The Fourche Creek Water Reclamation Facility and the Little Maumelle Water Reclamation Facility are two other nearby water facilities.

“We have brought in innovative technology that allows us not only treat the water on a normal daily flow using the biology, but also introduced a parallel treatment scheme,” said Collins. “Where when it rains, we’re actually able to bring in a lot of that deluded water, be able to treat it very effectively, very fast, and be able to disinfect and discharge to the Arkansas River.”

LRWRA outline of the lasting effects from its 20 years of work:

• 3,700 service lines have been replaced as part of the Sanitary Sewer Service Line Replacement program
• 1,100 miles of sewer lines are inspected and maintained annually
• 105,000 “Can the Grease” kits distributed to residents to reduce the impact of grease on the sewer collection system

Nearly 70,000 residences, businesses, and more than 14,000 kilometers of public sewer systems are benefiting from these upgrades.

“Through rate increases approved by city leaders, were were able to make necessary improvements of our collection system, the pipes underground, to our pump stations,” said Block. “We have about 34 across the city, as well as to our treatment plant infrastructure, including here at Adam’s Field Water Reclamation Facility.”

The water they release is at least seven times cleaner than the Arkansas River, said the Little Rock Water Reclamation Authority.

“We opted to go with a more innovative UV disinfection as a form of disinfecting the water before we discharge it,” said Collins. “As far as other technologies that we brought in: High efficiency blowers, power consumption at a wastewater plant, roughly 40% to 50% of an electric bill at a plant is substantial.”

A settlement agreement was made in 2002 between LRWRA and The Sierra Club to enhance the control of sanitary sewer overflows. In 2006, an administrative order for consent was enforced by the Arkansas Department of Energy and Environment.

“It took a lot of work and persistent focus on all the areas of the entire water reclamation process that we could focus our efforts and make any necessary changes and so here we are 20 years later having been successful in reducing and eliminating those SSO’s in the city,” said Block.


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