A consultant has been hired by Central Arkansas Water to assess possible vulnerabilities in the Maumelle Watershed caused by ExxonMobil’s Pegasus pipeline.
Tectonic Engineering and Surveying Consultants was awarded a 160 thousand dollar contract to evaluate the consequences of the physical damage to the pipeline, which crosses through the watershed. The third party consultants are necessary to ensure the safety and integrity of the water supply. Central Arkansas Water Protection Manager John Tynan says the assessment will provide information still needed regarding the pipeline.
“We have been requesting information from Exxon as well as the regulatory agency PHSMA (Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration) that will allow us to do an evaluation and investigation of the safety and integrity of that line. We’ve had limited success in getting some of that information most recently, but there’s still a good bit of data and details that we need to complete that thorough evaluation,” Tynan says.
Once this data is received the utility will be able to identify any necessary security or safety improvements that are needed in the pipeline.
“Safety and Integrity of our drinking water supply and of our system itself are a key concern to Central Arkansas Water. We provide 400 thousand people across the region with clean, high-quality, affordable drinking water and our efforts in both this vulnerability assessment and our work with our technical consultant on pipeline safety issues are intended to ensure that we can continue to provide that clean, safe, high-quality water to those 400 thousand people,” says Tynan.
The bulk of the work will take place throughout 2014. The company will not only evaluate Lake Maumelle, but the entire Central Arkansas Water system. The assessment will not result in a rate increase for consumers.