Sustainable Durant hosting presentations addressing city water needs

Durant non-profit hosts series of presentations over city water supply
Published: Mar. 20, 2023 at 10:15 PM CDT
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DURANT, Okla. (KXII) - Non-profit, Sustainable Durant, says water is the most precious resource. It is hosting a series of presentations to discuss the city’s current water supply, part one was Monday night.

“We think it’s important that people understand where that comes from is it good quality and then how do we know it’s going to continue as the city grows,” Donna Murphy, Chairman of Sustainable Durant, said.

The presentation revealed that the city needs more water, equipment to keep it safe and the money to pay for it. Durant Public Works Director, Phillip Hightower, said the population is increasing and the water supply should do the same. He suggested tapping into an existing resource.

“Maybe pumping water to Durant Lake and then using it as a main source,” Hightower said.

Utilizing the lake requires extra treatment because it is not as high quality as the city’s current source. However, Hightower said chemical costs have tripled over the past three years. He said the primary chemical that they use for cleaning used to go for six cents a pound, now goes for 26 cents a pound. Equipment upgrades will also be needed.

“Probably in the next five to ten years, you’ll be looking at an increase and probably need to upgrade your water plant,” Hightower said.

Increasing the plant’s capacity would also mean a significant increase in costs.

“If we go from like a 12 million gallon plant to a 17 million, it would be in the range from 40 to 50 million dollars,” Hightower said.

This is money the city said it does not have. However, Durant Grants Coordinator, Becca Payne, told residents in attendance there may be some financial options.

“With some green ink and some creativity, we can write a pretty good grant application,” Payne said.

Part two of the meeting will be held on April 13th to dive further into the water source.