The threat of flooding this week highlights the importance of a major project underway in Davenport: the floodwall at the Iowa American Water Plant.
The facility on East River Drive is no stranger to flood fighting. The more than 2,000 foot-long floodwall being built to partially surround the facility is about 70% complete. The project started in fall 2011 and is on schedule at this point. With the rising river this week, though, crews have to think about 100% protection efforts. Not knowing yet exactly how the additional rainfall expected will affect the water levels, the contractor was out there Wednesday protecting what is done so far. Workers will also fill the gaps where the wall isn't yet complete.
It's still much less effort than was needed in the past, with the usual wall of sandbags and hesco barriers to protect the main source of water for the Iowa-Quad Cities.
"If this plant were to not be operable, all of Scott County loses drinking water so it's very vital this be protected," said Mark Pratt, a civil engineer for the Corps of Engineers. "The water company will not have to be out here putting hesco baskets in. When we're done we won't have to be doing what we're doing right now."