Local water supply to improve


Hunter Miller

The local water supply will be improving due to a new source.

Noah Corbitt, Staff Reporter

After five years of being unable to use one of its primary sources of supply, the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD) is only months away from being able to tap into Lake Texoma’s water resources for use in this rapidly growing area.

“The raw water supplies from Lake Texoma have been unavailable since 2009 due to the presence of zebra mussels,” the NTMWD said on its project page. “An invasive species. NTMWD continues to work with state and federal agencies to allow access to these supplies via closed pipeline system. This system would eliminate zebra mussels (or any invasive) at the Wylie Water Treatment Plant without the possibility of introducing the invasives back into the environment.”

With the construction of the pipeline and facilities, the water district hopes to use the $311 million project to allow for Lake Texoma water, one-fourth of the district water supply, to be used once again.

“The Texoma water is high in salinity,” NTMWD spokeswoman Denise Hickey said in a Star Local Media interview. “So we have to mix it with other water. Lake Lavon was used as the mixing bowl in the past, but since we can’t do that anymore, we had to build facilities here at the treatment plant that serve as large storage facilities to mix Texoma water and non-Texoma water.”

However, the pipeline may not be enough to alter the current Stage 3 water restrictions for the time being.

“We are still in drought conditions,” Hickey said in the same interview. “Restoring the water supply will help, but the rains we have had have had no impact on the lake levels. Without rain runoff you are going to keep having diminished water supplies in the reservoirs.”

As the project nears completion, however, community members look forward to at least the possibility of a greater water supply.

“It’ll make the water supply better,” freshman Tyler Gassman said. “We’ve been in a huge drought, and that will increase the amount of water that we have. Personally, my family hasn’t watered their grass and lawn as much as they used to, and now the plants are dying.”

An underlying concern is the cost of the project, but overall, area residents seem very excited about the reintroduction of Texoma water.

“I think the community members will be able to water their lawns more frequently when they bring the water back,” area resident Tricia Dobson said. “Less restrictions in the city, which means we’ll probably get to water our lawns better, which will help our foundations.”

According to the project schedule, the facilities and pipeline should be completed by the end of June.