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The City of Broken Arrow has invested $75 million on the Drinking Water Treatment Plant to ensure that your drinking water is safe, Charles M. Vokes, Utilities Department Director for the City of Broken Arrow, said to the 2019-2020 Leadership Broken Arrow Class.
More than 30 members of this year’s class visited the City’s Water Treatment Plant and learned about clean water processing as a part of their Broken Arrow Government Day session.
Broken Arrow has some of the most advanced technology in the State of Oklahoma and the nation.
“We enjoy having people come out and take tours of the drinking water plant,” Vokes said. “They are actually the owners of the plant because the money that they pay on their water bills is what pays for the infrastructure, including our water plant.”
The plant uses membranes that filter the water down to the micron level.
“We have very experienced staff to ensure that the processes are running properly, and so you can be guaranteed that when you turn on the water at your faucet that it is safe and pure to drink,” he said.
The director says it’s he wants people to recognize that water quality is a priority to us and that there is a tremendous amount of technology, training, and care that goes into ensuring that their drinking water meets all of the Federal guidelines and State standards.
“We want to be better than that; we want to exceed the Federal standards for drinking water, and we work very hard on that,” Vokes said.
During the tour, various speakers explained the process by which water coming from the Verdigris River is processed to make it safe for our customers.
Designed in 2006, with construction starting in 2012, the Drinking Water Treatment Plant was brought online in 2014.
The first national standards for bacteriological quality were established in 1914, with chemical contaminants added in 1925. Rules went into effect that applied to public water supplies in 1946. In 1962, the Federal Government recommended the use of qualified water personnel and source water protection.
In the 1970s, a survey of nearly 1,000 public water supplies revealed widespread problems with water quality and health risks. This survey eventually led to the Safe Drinking Water Act being enacted in 1974, which gave the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the authority to regulate water standards.
“It’s important that people have a sense that we care, that we are competent and that we know what we are doing, and that we are taking care of them,” Vokes said. “And, there’s no better way to do that than for them to visit the facility, meet the staff, and to see the care that goes into our drinking water.”