Fort Smith Plans New Water System.

Fort Smith Plans New Water System.

Work will be commenced within the next sixty days on the $100,000 new waterworks improvment at Fort Smith, Ark., and it is expected to be completed within one year. The proposed plan contemplated the building of a dam, with eight or nine foot head, across the Poteau a short distance above the mouth of Mill creek. Above the dam the new intake is to be located, and it is to be so constructed with duplicate openings that it will draw water from near the surface of the river at either high or low stages of the water. The plans include the utilization of alt of the present equipment; and the new pumping station will be located at the present site, one high power pump being added. The whole pumping station equipment is to be located below the mouth of Mill creek on land now owned by the city, with the addition of a small parcel of ground adjoining. The new system is to incude the building of a settling basin of large capacity on block 13, covering the tract on which the present station houses are located. In this basin the water will be given twelve to eighteen hours sedimentation and treated with coagulates, after which it will pass into the filter which is to be so constructed on the unit system that aditional units may be added at very slight expense as the need for greater capacity grows. After the water passes through the filtration plant, it will pass into a small reservoir from which the high pressure pumps will force it to the reservoirs ready for use in the city mains. The present settling basins will be used as reservoirs for the purified water, for the city mains. It is also contemplated that the present standpipe shall be disconnected with its present feeder mains which now fill it with raw water, and shall be filled from the purified water reservoirs and put onto the water mains running to the higher sections of the city, thus giving them adequate water pressure. Working out the details of the above outlined plans wil be the task of Engineer Kiersted who is to be employed by the water improvement district with the cooperation of the council, the city water commission and Superintendent Bruce. Engineer Kier sted visited Fort Smith in 1892 at the request of the then owners of the plant. He had been impressed at that time that the main equipment for handling the city should be located near the river bank. He decalred that the tract of ground enclosed by the bend of Mill creek and the Poteau was practically large enough for the settling basin and filtration plant. It was absolutely esesntial that the water should be given a sedimentary treatment before passing through the fiters, otherwise the muddy condition of the river would clog the filters and put them out of business. There would be no difficulty in handling the Poteau water with a small settling basin, at ordinary stages, but it should of sufficient size to care for the water at time of flood when excessively muddy conditions obtain. The carrying of the intake up the river would be a minor expense. He had familiarized himself with the conditions in the Poteau caused by the Arkansas river floods. There were only two ways in which these could be overcome. The more expensive way would be to build a large reservoir; but the construction of a dam with eight or ten foot head across the Poteau would control the back-flooding at all ordinary stages of the rivers. The Poteau channel is exceptionally well adapted for this because of its rock botom and the fact that its flow keeps tlie channel well scoured out save when backfloded. In constructing the new plant, sufficient storage should be provided so that the purified water in store could carry the city for a short period without new supply in extreme flood conditions when the river water was in bad condition. Mr. Kierstead pointed out that the present settling basins are not high enough to afford adequate water pressure in the higher portions of the city. The standpipe should be connected with a system of mains covering these sections. It could be filled with a pump operated from the pump house, and an additional fire pressure service could be devised, at small expense The present settling basins should be cleaned out and the bottom sealed with cement for the storage of the purified water. This is necessary because of the porous rock foundations of the basins. Mr. Kiersted estimated the total cost of the proposed plans woud approximate $92,000. He discredited tlie considerable use of lime as a coagulant in the Poteau water; and advised with the body as to the various chemical treatments suitable for Poteau water. The Poteau has never flooded its low lands exsept when Poteau floods came in conjunction with Arkansas river floods. Mr. Kiersted declared that a 10-foot dam would never cause the flooding of the lawlands. The contract engages Engineer Kiersted to furnish all plans and specifications for the plant, and which are to be worked out under the supervision of the board and water superintendent. The engineer is also to supervise all stages of the construction to its completion He is to begin immediately the gathering of all river data and other basic conditions to be met. and to com, mence at once the work upon plans. He stated that the construction of the dam is emienntly a job for winter construction and that his primary plans will be so far advanced that work can be commenced within sixty days: but that he will take him three months to work out the complete plans for the system. Engineer Kiersted stated that the system under consideration will give the city pure, clear water at all times. The proposed combination of sedimentary, coagulation and filtration, he declared, will be the most effective plan known to hydraulic science for protecting water supply against sewage and other sources of bacterial pollution.

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