In 2012, the City of Mountain Home recognized the immediate need for a second alternative for obtaining additional water that serves the City of Mountain Home as well as a majority of Baxter County, Arkansas. The City reviewed four potential alternatives, including well field supply, Bull Shoals Lake, Riverbank Filtration at the White River, and a second intake location at Lake Norfork. The review revealed that replacing the current intake located at Lake Norfork would be the most feasible solution.
The new intake is needed because the current intake is more than 45 years old with water intake access issues, is at maximum pumping capacity, has inadequate space, has aging structural components, and has limited redundancy. The intake pump housing is not consistent with current code requirements and cannot be taken out of service because it is the only pumping source of water from the lake to the water treatment plant. The existing intake is located near the inflow of Pigeon Creek where incoming muddy, turbid water impacts water quality and requires higher treatment at the water treatment plant following storm events.
The purpose of the proposed project is to provide a water supply system to meet current and future needs and address water quality issues within the City of Mountain Home and Baxter County.
A water intake and pipeline at a different location was selected because it minimized the environmental, social, and USACE property impacts, reduced overall costs for construction and maintenance, and provided the best water source to meet the current and future demands. The location meets the ADH requirements for setbacks and raw water protection and the Arkansas Department of Agriculture - Natural Resources Division regulations for Water Plan Compliance.