Durant renovates water clarification-system; cuts water production in half

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DURANT, OK -- Water from nearby lakes and rivers flows into a clarifier-system at the Durant Water Treatment Plant. It's the first step in the cleaning process.

"We'll bring the water in, and what this clarification system does is just that. It clarifies the water. Reacts with our chemicals, dirt goes to the bottom, we filter it ... and drinking water," said Water Treatment Plant Operator Jeremy McBride

It's one of two tanks at the plant. But the other clarifier is closed for repairs.

"We're gonna basically replace all the moving parts," McBride said. "Which is gear-boxes, upgrade motors and do things like that. Because the existing has been in service since 1982."

Last week they tore out the old metal arms and skimmers. This week they're sand blasting and painting the metal, McBride said.

Assistant City Manager Ralph Houser expects the project to wrap up around April or May.

"Some of that depends on the parts we have to order," he said. "Some of those parts have to be custom made."

With one clarifier down, the plant can produce around five million gallons of water per day. The city uses about three million gallons a day in the winter. They plan to have the project finished before demand peaks in the summer.

"But July 4th, we might need six or seven million gallons," Houser said.

The plant provides water to 25,000 customers. The renovations to the tank will cost around $400,000. The money comes from the Durant City Utility Authority.

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