Proper collection, treatment and disposal of wastewater is vital to the health and safety of the community. At Little Rock Wastewater, we ensure that the water that goes down your drain has a safe destination. Liquid and solid waste comes to LRW for transport and treatment after water is used in homes and workplaces. The water is cleaned, processed and released after exceeding the current water quality standards.
We have employees who:
Maintain over 1,314 miles of public sewers.
Serve over 67,600 homes & businesses.
Operate an administrative office, a maintenance facility and a wastewater facility in west Little Rock, two wastewater Facilities in east Little Rock and 30 pumping stations.
The Little Rock Water Reclamation Commission governs LRW, and is comprised of seven citizens who are appointed by the Little Rock City Board of Directors. The City Board establishes sewer rates and approves certain financial matters, including the issuance of bonds.
LRW is committed to providing excellent quality sewer services for both residential and business customers as it keeps water resources safe for wildlife and human reuse. The employees of LRW are a group of dedicated professionals who work to provide a safe and clean environment for our City. LRW is recognized as a leader in the State of Arkansas. Numerous awards have been received from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Association of Metropolitan Sewage Agencies.
A History of Service
For the first half-century of its existence, Little Rock residents depended on a creek called Town Branch that ran through the center of the City to carry away wastes. As Little Rock grew, Town Branch became nastier and more prone to flooding. At the same time, the germ theory had been developed and scientific evidence mounted that Town Branch was a source of disease.
In the early 1880s neighborhood improvement districts were created to build a rudimentary sewer system, and these districts formed a hodgepodge of disposal systems all emptying into the Arkansas River. During the Depression, the federal government provided the financial means for Little Rock to build a real sewerage system governed by a committee of civic-minded residents. In 1937 the Municipal Sanitary Sewer System employed 12 people.
Treatment of sewage before it went into the Arkansas River did not come to Little Rock until the 1960s when the Adams Field Facility came into service. Growth and federal government demands in the 1970s overwhelmed the City’s sewer systems. Little Rock’s problems were exacerbated by unrelenting growth pressures west and southwest of the City. To cope, the City constructed new lines to serve the growth areas, diverting the last 20 percent of its raw sewage from the Arkansas River to the Adams Field Facility, and starting construction on a second treatment facility, the Fourche Creek Facility. Overflowing manholes caused by rainwater and groundwater infiltration continued to plague the system, however, and the new Fourche Creek Facility proved to be an engineering catastrophe.
LRW was reorganized in the mid 1980's with the arrival of a new manager and management team in 1984 and 1985. The Fourche Creek Facility was redesigned and rebuilt, and both it and the Adams Field Facility came into compliance with pollution control permits.