Work to redirect part of Whorton Creek began recently with existing gravel being pulled to the bank to prevent land erosion, Manager Rodney Reynolds told the Madison County Water Facilities Board last Tuesday.
Red Rock Construction began work on the creek, which back in January washed out a part of the dirt bank and caused a 6-inch water line to break apart, which led to a boil order for residents in the Wharton Creek area, including Marble and Kingston.
The 6-inch pipe and an 8-inch pipe feed a water tank on Phillips Mountain, Reynolds said.
The washout took out between 4-6 feet of dirt along the bank, causing the 6-inch pipe to separate.
Reynolds told the board that Red Rock was using a track hoe at the creek.
“I think if we get a pretty good rain, we might be OK,” Reynolds said. “It’s getting better.
“If he had another two days I’d feel a whole lot better about it.”
Last October, the board accepted a $150,000 bid by Red Rock Construction to fix the part of Wharton Creek which is washing away banks southeast of Huntsville. The board will pay 25 percent of the project, with the remainder paid for by the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission, Reynolds said.
The project will put more than 3,000 tons of rock along a 500-foot section of the creek. The project will require between 170 and 180 loads of rock.
Fields in the area, however, are saturated to the point that trucks and heavy equipment can not get to the creek project, Reynolds said.
In other business, the board heard from engineer Mark Johnson, who gave an update on a million-dollar project to repaint tanks and replace pumps.
“We’re still working on it,” Johnson said. “We’re trying to get in sync with the state [about a meeting].”
Johnson also said the state is pushing for a “hard schedule” for the project.
The rural water board was approved for up to $1.3 million for the project.
The initial plan was approved by ARNC and the state’s Wastewater Advisory Committee. The project will repaint five tanks and install four new pumps. The repainting will be at Bohannan, Cobb Creek, Hartwell, Japton and Pinnacle. The four new pumps will be at Cobb Creek, Hartwell, Japton and Pinnacle.
In other business:
• Reynolds gave an update on the recent inspections at four tanks in the district. He said everything went smoothly, including getting the test samples to Little Rock. A Texas company which did the inspections will issue a report to the local board.
Reynolds said the tanks had silt at the bottom, to which Johnson said, “that’s very common.”
The local board has until the end of October to get its other six tanks inspected. Tanks must be inspected every five years, according to the Arkansas Department of Health.
• Office Manager Patti Cline said customers can go to www.mcwfb.com and sign up for alerts when boil orders are in place.
“We have the ability on our website for customers to go and register,” Cline said. “You can register for an alert. You can get it by text or you can get it by email, whichever they prefer.”
Customers can visit the home page and look for the orange button that says “Sign up for alerts.” Cline said because of further inspections, planned maintenance projects and unforeseen problems, boil orders will need to be issued throughout the year and next.
• The board approved Cline’s request for occasional help in the office. A temporary worker will be called in when other employees are sick or on vacation.
• The break of a 24-inch water line caused some residents to be without water Saturday morning. The line, owned by Madison County Regional Water District, broke around 1:30 a.m. Saturday, according to Reynolds. A boil order was issued for Madison 8735 and all roads off of it. As of Tuesday, the boil order had not been lifted.