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Press Release

On April 13, the Southside Public Water Authority Board of Directors voted unanimously to cancel the Authority’s annual meeting, usually held in February of each year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  At the end of 2020, the Authority treated and pumped 406,907,000 gallons of water which generated $2,790,264.00 in water sales. The water treatment plant averaged treating and pumping 1,114,814 gallons per day with the daily peak of 1,746,000 gallons occurring February 18th. At year’s end the Authority was serving 3,929 meters for a water service population of 9,823 people. In 2020, the wastewater plant treated 53,418,800 gallons of sewage which generated $436,445.00 in wastewater sales, and averaged treating 146,353 gallons of sewage per day. Total water and sewer revenues for the year combined including connection fees, interest income and other income totaled $3,445,166.00. Wastewater collection service was provided to 895 homes and businesses. Authority Field Personnel installed 55 water connections, 20 wastewater connections, repaired 42 main leaks and 34 service line/setter leaks, worked 943 work orders for both water and wastewater, performed 111 plumbing inspections, responded to 807 locate requests, and requested 192 locates.

No one filed in opposition for board positions 2, 4, and 5 held by Fred Bufford, Keith Harmon, and Fred Denison, Sr. respectively by the January 5th deadline as required by article III of the Authority’s policy, therefore all three Board members were reelected to their respective positions by acclimation.

The directors agreed to purchase a 60’ x 60’ plot of land owned by Lenell Harmon along Highway 25 for $18,000. The plot of land will house a wastewater lift station needed to expand wastewater collection services to approximately 46 targeted locations along Highway 25 and Fred Street in Desha.

Next, the directors voted unanimously to purchase an 85kW towable generator and to install manual transfer switches and electrical cam-lock connections at all of the Authority’s wastewater lift stations and water pumping stations. With the electrical work estimated at $47,500 and the generator and cabling estimated at $77,550, the total project cost is expected to be $125,050 plus applicable taxes. This purchase will allow the Authority to better serve customers in the event of an emergency, such as the most recent winter weather storm that created a sustainable demand the Authority had not previously experienced. The new 85kW generator will be used along with the current 60kW generator the Authority already owns.

Lastly, the directors made a motion to begin the conversion of the Authority’s Badger meter reading and analysis software from ReadCenter to Beacon. Badger has discontinued the current CE Radio that the Authority uses to read its meters. The Beacon software will allow the use of cellular meters which can provide many benefits to the customers and the water utility. The Authority plans to deploy approximately 50-75 new cellular meters per year, with plans for the entire water system to become fully cellular within 15-20 years. The conversion will allow the utility to help prevent catastrophic water shortage and recover costs associated with water loss through the use of web-based software and a customer portal. The cost for the conversion, which initially includes 36 cellular meters, will be approximately $21,944.88 plus applicable tax.

In other business the directors reviewed March water and wastewater financial reports and the March system total report.