​Award-Winning Treatment Plant Project Safeguards Thriving Trout Fishery in Arkansas

​Award-Winning Treatment Plant Project Safeguards Thriving Trout Fishery in Arkansas

Lakeside Equipment Corporation agent Phil Shupe (right) with consulting engineer Mike Marlar.

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Upgraded with an E.A. Aerotor Plant from Lakeside Equipment Corporation, a water and wastewater treatment plant that sits right next to one of the world’s best trout fisheries has won the coveted Top Project award in the Water and Wastewater category of the American Council of Engineering Companies Arkansas Engineering Excellence Awards.

Carefully designed by independent consulting engineer Mike Marlar to blend in with the appealing local landscape, the Lakeside E.A. Aerotor Plant at Bull Shoals (unlike typical small package plants) incorporates all the components of a large scale, extended aeration/complete mix process in conjunction with final clarification and UV.

Lakeside’s agent in North Little Rock, Shupe & Associates, worked closely with Marlar and the treatment plant team throughout the upgrade, conscious of just how vital it was to safely deactivate the old plant and get the new one online within a tight deadline with high quality, treated effluent.

Through excellent teamwork, the seeding process proved successful, delivering clear treated water within 24 hours. The old plant — designed for 20 years but still running after 40 — had begun to resemble more of a rusty patchwork quilt, but due to the hard work and determination of the small leadership team at Bull Shoals, had always continued to give out good quality effluent.

In an area that attracts huge numbers of visitors for the fishing of world-class White River trout, the new plant now blends in so well with the landscape that people aren’t aware of it. It doesn’t make any noise like the old plant did, and even the new lighting provides a safe work area without being intrusive to the local environment.

According to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Bull Shoals’ fishery is worth $705 million annually. And when taking into consideration all the other visitor spending factors such as food, lodging and transportation, that figure rises to $1.5 billion each year for Arkansas. The largest lake in Arkansas, with 45,440 acres of water and a 1,000-mile shoreline, Bull Shoals Lake stretches along the state’s northern border and into southern Missouri.


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