Water Department History
Beginnings of the Blytheville Water System
In 1911, J. E. Thompson was given a franchise to build and operate the Blytheville Water Company. The ordinance states that the water system will be a first class water system inside the City of Blytheville.
Early Design Capacity
The design capacity at that time was about 430,000 gallons per day. In 1923 a 100,000 gallon elevated storage system, two 220 gallon clear well filters, and two new aerators were built. This raised the design capacity to 1.5 million gallons per day.
New Ownership & New Pump House
In 1935, the Blytheville Water company was bought by Robert K. Johnston of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. In 1948, construction was completed on the new pump house and maintenance shop. At that time two more filters and another aerator were added to the system. The capacity was raised to 23 million gallons per day.
New Treatment Plant
In 1965, the design capacity was doubled to six million gallons per day. This was accomplished by adding a new treatment plant consisting of three new filters and two new aerators.
Advent of Blytheville Water Works
In 1975, the Blytheville Water company was purchased by the city of Blytheville and became the Blytheville Water Works. In 1977, a one million gallon elevated storage tank was built in the industrial park east of town.
In 1988, a 440,000 gallon clear well was built and three new high service pumps were added to double our pumping capacity.
Continuous Expansion & Improvement
In each of the expansions, well capacity was added, and as wells failed, they were replaced. Through the years, we have had eleven wells.
There are six wells currently in operation. All of the wells are 1,500 feet deep. Three of these wells have a capacity of 750 gallons per minute on low speed, and 1,450 per minute on high speed. The other three wells can pump 1,400 gallons per minute on low speed, and 3,200 gallons per minute on high speed.
Newest Expansion Projects
In 1998, our newest expansion project was started and completed in October 1999. It consists of three new filters, two aerators, over five miles of 16 and 18 inch water mains, two wells, a one and one half million gallon overhead storage water tank with our new office building inside the base of the tank. This project raised our design capacity to nine million gallons per day.
Commitment to Excellence
In these ninety-two years, we have seen many changes in the operation of the Blytheville water system. The aim of the Blytheville Waterworks has been and will continue to be a first class water system and to offer first class services to the citizens of Blytheville.