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West Fork Cleaning Up Its Wastewater System

Residents started complaining a few months ago about sewage leaking into the White River.
West Fork leaders says the city's waste water treatment plant is one of the oldest in the area, at 40 years old.
But the department is trying to stay up to code.

"The ADEQ has been sending inspectors in out of the office in Rogers and they're satisfied with what we have done," mayor Charlie Rossetti said.

At the plant, employees check on the system each day, making sure sewage doesn't go into the White River.

"We check three times a day, if everything's running right and some days, we work there all day just to stay on top of it," utilities superintendent Michael Bartholomew said.

The city is also working with the beaver watershed alliance on the issues.

"We did a site visit with a landowner who was experiencing overflow on her property. Since then, the city received violations from the ADEQ and they've been making those improvements," said Courtney Thomas, outreach coordinator for the Beaver Watershed Alliance.

But there's still work to do. The city is building a pipeline connecting to Fayetteville's water treatment facility, which is a more reliable source.
The money for that project is coming from water and sewer rate increases.

"We would rather the residents have small increments of increases over a period of time rather than a large one when we actually hook on and our rates go up," said Rossetti.

The city administration will meet with residents in August for a public forum to discuss the rate increase.


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