Bay waiting on parts for water filter

Wednesday, August 29, 2001

Democrat Editor

Bay is playing the waiting game for installation of the new water filters.

The city is replacing the Media filters, which were bought from United Swimming Pools, but has to wait for parts.

Bay is getting the parts through a company in Russellville.

"We're still on hold," said Crawford Holmes, city water and sewer superintendent. "I called them (last Wednesday) and the guy is going to call the company and see if they can come up with anything that was put in there."

One of Bay's filters is bad and the city is operating on just one, which Holmes said is no problem.

"Right now we're running on one filter, which is doing fine," Holmes said. "If we run into an emergency I can turn the filter on."

He said the water would be treated but not filtered.

The city needs special pipe and a cuplink.

"It's a swimming pool filter," Holmes said. "It was put in in `79 and they quit making them."

Holmes said it's difficult finding parts because of changes through time in the filters.

"When you take something that is thirty-something years old everything is updated and changed," Holmes said. "They don't even make (the filters) like that anymore."

Bay is also using the Arkansas Rural Water Association.

"They're trying to get parts because that's what they do," Holmes said of the Russellville company. "If they can't get the parts then we will have to try to fix the one we've got."

The Media includes six different sizes of rock and sand.

"It's special rock that came out of Colorado," Holmes said. "At the bottom they're big and as they come up each layer gets smaller until you come to the top layer and it's 30 inches of sand. That's what filters the water."

He said they have to put layers in so many inches deep each.

Once the final parts arrive, the city can have the bad filter running again in a day, then it will change the good filter, according to Holmes.

"It's a precautionary measure to change both of them," Bay mayor Linda Watts said. "The one that is working good could last another five or 10 years or it can go out next week."

Holmes said the bottom of it is concrete and the pipe lays on the concrete. The concrete broke in the old filter. He said everyone he talked to said it was straining when it was pulling that water out of the filter.

He said all that was holding the filter on was an eight-inch cuplink.

"When it broke everything slipped," he said.

"If we can get the parts we can have it fixed in no time," Holmes said.

The hole workers will have to move in to fix the filter is 11"X15".

"I've got one man that can fit in it and we have to get him out," Holmes said. "When he comes out he has to stick his arms up and work with the shoulders. Once you get through there you've got nothing to push yourself up with. Once you get to a certain level you can put your elbows out and you've got enough streghth to pull yourself up."

The filter is nine feet in diameter. There will be 45,000 pounds of rock in both filters combined.

The rock and sand are already in Bay.

"I just wish we could fix that part or find a part where we can get going," Watts said. "The rocks and sand had to come from Colorado and we've already gotten it here."

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