Lowell, AR — July 22, 2014 – Beaver Water District, Lowell and Springdale Fire Departments, and regional Hazmat teams conducted a chemical leak drill this morning at Beaver Water District. The drill began at 8:30 a.m. with a call from Beaver Water District to the 911 dispatcher. Others participating included area police departments, Washington County Emergency Management, Siloam Springs, Bella Vista, Fayetteville, and Rogers.
“Our plant engineer, plant manager and maintenance supervisor have been working with Springdale and Lowell Fire Departments and regional hazmat teams to plan this drill for several months,” said Alan D. Fortenberry P.E., CEO of Beaver Water District. “The fire departments actually approached us about doing the drill.”
Larry Lloyd, COO for the District, said that once en route, emergency vehicles were told by the dispatchers that this was a drill. Meanwhile, the Lowell Police Department set up a secure perimeter at the entrance to the plant site. The Springdale Fire Department set up a perimeter and command center onsite at the plant, which is located off of Primrose Road. District maintenance personnel trained in hazardous materials response and containing and repairing equipment, donned hazmat suits and self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBAs) to conduct a series of mini-drills on site. These drills included one team evaluating the leak and the second team containing the leak.
This is the first time Beaver Water District has included area responders for a chemical leak drill, said Bill HagenBurger, Plant Engineer with the District. “Drills like this provide a great opportunity for everyone to practice using equipment in a non-emergency situation,” he said. “We are planning and training for contingencies.”
Beaver Water District supplies drinking water to more than 300,000 people and industries in Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, Bentonville and surrounding areas. These cities then resell the water to surrounding towns and communities. The District’s mission is to serve our customers’ needs by providing high quality drinking water that meets or exceeds all regulatory requirements and is economically priced consistent with our quality standards. For more information, visit www.bwdh2o.org.