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City Water Resources in Great Condition

Author: 
Kerry Craig - News-Telegram Staff Writer
 
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
 

Adequate water supply is rare these days. . .

 
While many cities in Texas are looking to implement  the  most  severe  measures  to make water resources last, Sulphur Springs is in the enviable condition of having almost 100 percent of its water resources untapped. “It’s not whether we have the water, it’s whether we can get to it,” City Manager Marc Maxwell said Wednesday morning. “We are in the position of having a great water supply and a great back-up supply, which is not too common.”
 
The problem of getting to the city’s share of water in Cooper Lake is a problem shared with North Texas Municipal Water District, according to NTMWD’s Jeff Hogan, who said the water district’s dredging operation is under way. “We are dredging the intake channel, a former stream, Findley Branch, that has been silted in over the years,” he said. “It won’t enable us to access the full of Lake Cooper. We are not dredging the whole lake; it’s just about a mile of the intake channel.”
 
The process will involve the use of a barge and pumps extending suction lines into the lake. “We will be using hydraulic dredging so, basically, we are sucking the silt out of the former stream bed,” he said. “We are pushing the water south to an area where we have 50 acres owned by North Texas Municipal Water District and the City of Irving.” Hogan also said steps will be taken to prevent the silt stirred up by the project from getting into the nearby water intake structure and into water lines.
 
“We will have what we call turbidity curtains, which prevent the stuff we stir up from getting too far away from us and keeping it out of the intake,” he said. This will have a positive impact on Sulphur Springs’ portion of water in Cooper Lake.
 
While the dredging is under way, Sulphur Springs has shifted from using water from Cooper Lake to using water from Lake Sulphur  Springs,  the  city’s  main  reserve resource,  so  Maxwell  considers  what  is being pumped to be free water.
 
“The lake is going over the spillway,” he said. “It’s not like we are eating into our storage capability pumping from Lake Sulphur Springs.”
 
The city has been using Lake Sulphur Springs   water   for   several   weeks   and Maxwell said there have been no issues. “By and large, it’s been a very smooth transition back to Lake Sulphur Springs for a while,” he said.
 
With the recent rains, the water level in Cooper Lake has risen several inches but remains well below the full mark.
 
National Weather Service forecasters are predicting a return of the el Niño weather pattern later this year that could mean much more precipitation than has been seen in the past several years as well as cooler than normal temperatures.
 
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