Rogers Water - A Historical Perspective
Rogers' first elevated storage tank, located
at the intersection of Spring and East Walnut, as it appeared in 1913.
The history of Northwest Arkansas is closely linked to water. The White River, a major
tributary to the Arkansas River system, runs north through the heart of the Ozark Plateau before crossing into Missouri,
only to come back through north central Arkansas, through the Delta, and into the Arkansas River just before that river
terminates into the mighty Mississippi River. This river was used as a major transportation route, from prehistoric
times to as late as the 1960's. The bottomland adjacent to the river and its tributaries was arable; the remaining
ridges were rocky forests, cleared in some areas for cattle grazing. During the early years of the 1900's, the Rogers
area was noted for fruit orchards.
The City of Rogers was incorporated in 1881 after the Frisco Railroad
line established a stop here. An all-weather spring was discovered and utilized for boiler makeup water near
the present site of Tyson's of Rogers. Rogers was named for Captain Charles Warrington Rogers, Vice-president
and General Manager of Frisco Railroad. The springs, called Frisco and Diamond, used by the railroad, were
developed as water resources for the new town.
Pictured is the old Frisco Springs pump
house, which was abandoned in 1967. Charles O. Hall,
Rogers Water Utilities superintendent for 33 years, is shown at left.
Noted as a railhead, Rogers became a center for agriculture and tourism. Attracted by the area's mild climate and sparkling springs and rivers, few people moved to Rogers until industry discovered the area.
The arrival of Daisy Manufacturing, Garrett Poultry, Wendt-Sonis (now RTW), Bear Brands (Tyson's
Chick-n- Quick) brought new jobs and heightened demand for more water. Southwestern Power Company owned
the Water Company until 1945, when the City of Rogers purchased it.
In 1955, Rogers built additional storage to go with it's new water treatment plant at Lake Atalanta.
This 0.5 million gallons (MG) tank is still in operation at 8th Street and Persimmon.
The 1970's,1980's and 1990's were a time of unprecedented growth for Rogers and the
entire NWA area. Beaver Lake became a large tourism and retirement draw. Industries, such as Bekaert Steel,
Preformed Line Products, Superior Wheel, Scott Paper Company, and Crane Company moved to town and expanded,
lured by the ready supply of labor and adequate water supply. In 1983, another water transmission main was built
for Rogers and Bentonville. Additional storage tanks were built in 1969 and 1990. Beaver Water District
doubled its treatment capacity in 1993
Today, Rogers Water Utilities is one of the largest public water utilities in Arkansas. Rogers
Water Utilities has water and sewer facilities in Benton county and the city of Lowell. Rogers Water Utilities operates and
maintains over 500 miles of water mains and over 400 miles of sewer collectors.
Rogers Sewer - A Historical Perspective
The development of a sanitary sewer system was necessary for the town of Rogers to grow.
The City built a collection system in the 1930's. Small, Imhoff - cone style wastewater treatment plants were
located on the railroad track south of town and on Olive Street on Turtle Creek. Rogers received government
grants to sewer large areas of town on septic tank - leach field systems in 1951. The two-treatment plant system
was abandoned in 1961 when Rogers built a trickling filter plant on West Oak Street in 1961. The plant was
expanded in 1970 and 1978.
The growth of the poultry industry caused the treatment plant to quickly become obsolete.
Coupled with new, federal regulations aimed at making the nation's waters "fishable and swimmable",
Rogers was forced to abandon the Oak Street facility (which was now in the City's growth area) to move to its
present location in 1985. The collection system was expanded in 1997. The treatment plant was expanded in 2008,
in order to accommodate the increased flowrate from Rogers.
The Rogers Pollution Control Facility has a stringent discharge permit, and discharges excellent
quality effluent into Osage Creek about seven miles southwest of downtown Rogers. The RPCF has won two national awards for