Lake Nacogdoches reaches historical low level

NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Low lake levels and the heat don't matter to some species, but at Lake Nacogdoches they're factors in accessing the water supply for thousands of humans.

"Most reservoirs that are built have a raw water intake structure like the one, the square box behind me," said Russell Grubbs, the Nacogdoches water utilities manager. "It has several gates that we can open or close according to the lake level or the water quality."

Right now it's the lake level that puts the highest gate out of commission.

"Right now the Lake Nacogdoches is approximately eight feet low and our first gate is right at eight feet and we were experiencing some problems with sucking air into our pumps and we had to come out and open the second gate," Grubbs said.

The gate is 15 feet lower.

Through it, millions of gallons of water rushes into the city's surface water treatment facility.

"Right now the set point is 4,000 to 5,000 gallons per minute and the pumps automatically meet that demand," said James Thompson, the water plant operator.

In Nacogdoches, there's no concern of a water shortage at all. Other communities face more serious issues.

The San Augustine city lake has dropped four feet. Wholesale buyers are required to reduce usage by 15 percent. A mandatory water restriction for customers will come next week.

In Center, water is being pumped from a lower gate off the deep end of Lake Pinkston. The council is considering a future conservation plan.

Water officials advise water conservation at all times. It's a precious commodity that should never be taken for granted.

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