Lamar replacing their source of drinking water after 70 years

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LAMAR, Mo. — After 70 years of getting their water from the lake, one southwest Missouri town is switching how they hydrate.

“Anytime you can produce a better water quality, better taste, less odor, with fewer chemicals, I think it’s a win for everyone,” said Rusty Rives, Lamar Assistant City Administrator.

Since the 1950’s, the City of Lamar has received their water from the city’s lake. But over the course of 70 years, that water has become difficult to maintain.

“If you’re talking about moss and grass, it grows in the summer time with warmth, and nutrients in the lake. You get a turnover in the spring and fall. The water turns over, and you just get changes in water quality,” said Mike Grose, Department of Natural Resources Environmental Engineer:

To combat this, the city is transitioning over to a well water source.

“Come hopefully next week as we start actually drilling a new well, along with that well obviously comes pumps. We have to figure out a way to get that into the treatment plant for distribution throughout our system,” said Rives.

While the city still needs to figure out their pump situation for the new wells, Grose adds that it should be easier than pumping water from the lake.

“The carbon gets sucked into the water treatment plant, and you have to treat it. It’s all a matter in trying to take all that out. You can expand the plant, you can add additional treatment, but that is extremely expensive,” said Grose.

Not only will the quality of the water be better, but the hope is it’ll be even cheaper to maintain.

“Processing the lake water takes quite a few chemicals and machinery to operate that. Hopefully with the well water, we’ll be able to automate and reduce some of those chemicals that we have to treat the water with,” said Rives.

The new source of water should be available in around three months.

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