LRED Water Plant
5/18/17 3:30 PM
Lakewood Area - It looks like we are in the clear. Since our last update, the lake water clarity/turbidity has really calmed down. We saw the turbidity levels spike in the part of the lake we draw out of to nearly 100 turbidity units after the flooding, but it was short lived, and we never exceeded the DEQ recommended turbidity levels on our finished product. As of the last few days readings, the turbidity in the lake has been slowly going down and is currently around a 15 where we draw from, which is well within our plants’ capabilities. If anything changes, we will, of course, update you again, but as of now it looks like the worst is behind us, and you can now breathe, and drink, easy.
Wildcat Point Area - The turbidity in the lake has finally come down to normal levels. The lake levels are slowly receding, and we are back to completely normal operation at our Wildcat Plant. Our sincere thanks go out to all of you who have been limiting your water usage while we got through this period. You may now resume normal water usage. Again, thank you very much.
Please have a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day weekend next week.
5/8/17 | 2:00 PM - Lakewood Water Plant
Over the last three days, the turbidity in the lake where we draw water for the Lakewood Plant has been steadily rising. So far the plant is continuing to produce water that is within the DEQ allowable range. LRED is in regular communication with DEQ regarding the status of this plant, and we will let you know if and when DEQ recommends a boil order for the area, but as of right now things are still fine.
5/1/17 |3:00 PM - Lakewood Water Plant Anticipating flooding:
With the significant rainfall, we have received in our area sending large quantities of runoff into the Illinois River and the Tenkiller Reservoir we are experiencing flooding. The last time that we had rainfall of such significant volume was the December 2015 flood, which resulted in significant hardship for our customers in this area.
The last time that we had rainfall of such large quantity was the December 2015 flood, which resulted in significant hardship for our customers in this area.
At that time none of the LRED staff had experience operating the plants with flooding of such magnitude. While we may not all agree on the success of our efforts, we did the best we could under difficult circumstances, and in the process learned much about how our plants will operate in such conditions.
While we cannot predict the future we believe that you should take precautions now to be ready should history repeat itself. During the 2015 flood, within one day of the river cresting, the Lakewood plant was unable to produce water within the DEQ allowable limits of turbidity. We do not know if that will happen this time, but we feel that the concern is significant enough to warrant preparation since the river crested around 10 pm yesterday evening.
Please make sure that you have potable drinking water in the house. Whether you store it in a bathtub, sink, or normal water storage vessel, we recommend storing up some water while our plant can still produce clean drinking water to minimize your need to purchase bottled water.
Please also minimize unnecessary water use, such as washing your car or boat, watering your lawn, filling swimming pools, and watering gardens. As everyone begins to prepare the demand on our plant will be much higher than usual, and your actions could prevent your neighbors from having adequate water pressure to prepare. Please be considerate of all those who may be affected.
Unlike the 2015 flood, we WILL NOT be shutting down the plant. If the turbidity levels go outside legal limits, we will issue a boil order for this plant and those customers served by it. However, we will continue to produce and deliver water so that you may flush toilets, water your lawns and gardens, etc.
Please be advised that while the flooding from this 2017 storm crested at 29.35 ft, which is 1.34 ft below the level of the 2015 storm, the amount of silt deposited in the lake will be similar. After the 2015 flood, it took 12 weeks for the lake water to return to a turbidity level that our filters could treat, and that would allow us to lift the boil order. During the 2015 flood, we rebuilt the sand filters and had to wait for the biology to develop enough to begin treating the water. We believe the delay in waiting for the biology to develop played a significant role in the lengthy restoration time.
However, unlike 2015 this time the filters have well-established biology and are in full production mode. An important factor that will make it difficult to predict the behavior of the lake and our treatment plant is the significantly warmer temperatures that we are currently experiencing compared to the 2015 storm. The warmer weather should help the plant’s ability to process the water, and therefore if a boil order becomes necessary, it may not last as long.
We will be updating our website and Facebook pages regularly with additional information as it becomes available.