Now that CWS is a PUBLIC WATER AUTHORITY, will users still elect Board Members?

Even though CWS is a Public Water Authority, we continue to be governed by our bylaws which state that all Board Members must be elected by a vote of our meter holders (users). Currently, your CWS Board of Directors is comprised of five unsalaried Members representing the districts of Fairfield Bay, Higden, Greers Ferry, and the Faulkner-Cleburne Wholesale Area. The fifth Member holds an at-large position. Using staggered election years to maintain high experience levels, Board Members are elected to serve three year terms. There are no term limits.

How do you approach water safety?

Safe Water is no Accident!

When you consider the amount of water we all consume, and the effects it can have on our health, both short and long-term, safe water must not be take for granted! The processing procedures and testing methods used by CWS are the best available. Our lake source is excellent. But, conditions can some-times change faster than we expect. To guard against the unexpected, we monitor both treated and untreated water for 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We also keep a seasonal lake history which gives us great insight on what to expect and when to expect it. Also, state and federal quality standards are being raised constantly, and we are committed to meet or exceed every requirement issue. We're proud of our company, the water we provide and the people we serve. And, we know safe water is no accident.

What about Lead and Copper?

Testing for "Lead and Copper" content in our water has also been conducted since 1992. Why? Although our water source is clear and clean. it has naturally corrosive nature. Thus water commonly referred to as 'soft' water, will leach or draw lead and copper from pipes and plumbing making it unsafe for consumption. To make sure the lead and copper amounts are kept at harmless levels, our water is continually treated to reduce it's corrosion content. The testing is necessary to monitor our results and tell us the type and amount of treatment needed.

To carry out these tests, a group of homes built before 1983 and served by Community Water System were selected. These homes had to have copper pipes soldered with lead-base solder. All of our test homes selected are now registered with the health department and are a part of our on-going test program. To meet the requirements of the Lead & Copper Program, water from each of these homes had to be examined every year for a period of three years. For at least three consecutive sampling periods, Community Water System has met the health departments requirements for allowable levels of lead and copper. As a result, we are now on a reduced monitoring period, or testing every three years. The latest lead and copper tests were performed in June 2002 and the results were well within the allowable limits.

Who regulates Community Water System and water quality?

Community Water System is regulated by the Arkansas Department of Health and guided by the National Safe drinking Water Act. Suppliers of electricity, gas, and phone services are regulated by the Arkansas Public Service Commission. Since water is consumed, everything from it's source and treatment to the transmission and distribution is carefully regulated. Though the natural condition of our water is good, constant examination is required by the state and federal authorities to insure water quality. Each month, testing takes place by collecting water samples from a variety of system sites approved by the Arkansas Department of Health. These samples are then examined for quality and the results sent to the CWS offices where they are kept on file for a ten year period. In addition, the health department also conducts random tests during the course of the year. These results are also sent to CWS to be filed with monthly test results. All test information, as well as Community Water System's Source Water Assesment Program is available to the public at our offices in Greers Ferry, Arkansas.

How does CWS effect the Lake?

To serve our current customer group, Community Water System draws an average of 3-1/2 million gallons of water per day from Greers Ferry Lake through an intake line located just north of our treatment facility in Greers Ferry, Arkansas. Considering the vast amount of water contained in this lake, the daily usage by CWS has little or no effect on the lake. As a comparison.. the normal lake evaporation rate is between 95 and 125 million gallons of water per day, and the daily release of water through the dam can range from 25 million gallons to 4.5 billion gallons. As you can see the amount of water taken by Community Water System would in no way prove harmful to our beautiiful Greers Ferry Lake.

Why use Surface Water instead of Well Water?

Most underground water sources, or aquifiers, are in poor to critical condition. With the increased demand for irrigation, drinking water and industrial use, aquifier water levels have been lowered much faster than they can be replaced naturally. At this rate, within the next several years, many aquifiers will actually dry up or become contaminated with salt... the normal occurrence that happens when water levels run low. What's more, many aquifiers are becoming contaminated making the water harder to process and often unsafe for consumption. As aquifier problems continue to increase, surface water becomes the logical source for the future. Presently, Arkansas uses about 6% of it's surface water. When you consider the water quality, our abundant supply and the ease with which it can be captured and utilized, Arkansas' lakes and streams will be the best water source for the future.

What is the CWS Water Source?

The water source for Community Water System is Greers Ferry Lake, a White River Basin project built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and completed in July of 1964. The dam is located on the Little Red River just northeast of Heber Springs, Arkansas. The purpose of the lake is flood control and the generation of hydroelectric power, but it also provides exceptional recreational opportunities as well as an excellent source for water. To give you some idea of it's size, Greer's Ferry Lake has 40,500 surface acres when the pool level is at it's highest point, and 31,500 surface acres during low or conservation levels. There are from 276 to 343 miles of shoreline depending on lake levels.