Two projects to improve water service in the city of McAlester were successfully completed in January 2020 as part of a systematic approach to creating a more reliable water delivery system.

The first project relocated and replaced 675 feet of 20-inch main water line from the water treatment plant into the community. A new plastic pipe bypassed cast iron pipe from the original water treatment plant built in the early 1900s. A break in the original pipe resulted in a multiple-day water outage in November 2017 when crews struggled to make repairs due to the inaccessible location. The new pipe is buried in the earthen dam at Talawanda Lake #2 ensuring easier access for maintenance and future repairs. Built Right Construction, LLC completed the work for a total cost of $162,500.

The second project, which ran concurrently, replaced 430 feet of 30-inch raw water line and several valves connecting the Lake McAlester dam to the water treatment plant. The original steel line required frequent maintenance since it was located on top of the dam and had corroded from exposure to the elements. Collins Water Works, LLC installed the new plastic pipe underground at the foot of the dam for a cost of $158,950.

Other water projects underway include the rehabilitation of the city’s secondary water source since Lake McAlester is currently the city’s sole supply. The work consists of rebuilding components of the four pumps at the Coal Creek station after decades of inactivity left them inoperable. The Coal Creek project is expected to be completed in the summer of 2020 and will provide an alternative resource from Eufaula Lake.