CAW Preparing For Tropical Storm Laura

LITTLE ROCK, AR – Central Arkansas Water is preparing for the arrival of Tropical Storm Laura to our state later today, implementing its high wind plan to ensure the best water quality possible during and after the storm.

Our primary drinking water source, Lake Maumelle, is known for its wind. This is one reason it is such a popular lake for sailboats. However, it is also a very shallow lake, and when there is a major wind event, such as this tropical storm, there is the potential for lake mixing.

When Lake Maumelle mixes, it can stir up layers of manganese from the lake floor, which can discolor the water. That discolored water then makes its way to our Jack Wilson Water Treatment Plant, where it is treated. We have processes in place to try to remove as much of the discoloration as possible. However, there is the potential that you may see some discoloration in your drinking water over the next few days.

The water is safe to drink. Manganese, which is what causes the discoloration, is a naturally occurring mineral and is taken by many people as a vitamin supplement. We do recommend that you hold off from washing any clothes if you notice discolored water, as it could stain.

CAW will utilize water from Lake Winona, which is not nearly as prone to mixing, and from Jackson Reservoir at Reservoir Park here in Little Rock to supplement the water drawn from Lake Maumelle. This should help alleviate any discoloration in the system. We also filled our water towers prior to the storm’s arrival to ensure plenty of water is available during this wind event. You should not expect any disruption in service.

While we can control many factors related to our water sources, an unprecedented tropical storm is not one of them. But, we are prepared. CAW hopes everyone remains safe throughout the storm.

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