Members of the Arkansas National Guard have returned from a mission to provide water to residents of Newton County who fell victim to equipment failure during one of the hottest, driest months of the year.
The problem began at the end of June when the main well pump for the Nail-Swain Water Association, located about 40 miles north of Clarksville, burned out, according to Lt. Col. Keith Moore.
The pump, located just over 2,100 feet down in the 3,970 foot deep well, supplies water to several thousand area residents, Lt. Col. Moore said in a news release.
Local and state officials, as well as the Guard, stepped in. The Guard dispatched a 5,000 gallon water tanker to Fallsville, Ark., for the residents.
“After a couple of days we learned that there were a number of elderly and retired residents that either didn’t know the water was here, or had no way to get down to us,” said Staff Sgt. Brad Broadstock, a member of the Arkansas National Guard’s 217th Maintenance Battalion of the 142nd Fires Brigade, in a news release.
According to Lt. Col. Moore, a local man in that area volunteered the use of a recently purchased surplus fire engine to pump the water into the water system.
The Guard began transporting approximately 25,000 to 30,000 gallons per day from a nearby water system.
The Guardsmen dumped the water into surface containment bladders while the fire engine pumped it into a mountain top fire hydrant linked to the Nail-Swain Water system, according to Lt. Col. Moore.
Repair parts and crews arrived from Kansas and Oklahoma on July 9 to fix the well pump. After two days the pump was repaired and brought back online.