City of Nacogdoches seeks other avenues for water

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - For years, Lake Nacogdoches has been the primary source of water for Nacogdoches.

"It currently supplies, easily, 65 to 70 percent of the water that we use in town," City Engineer Steve Bartlett said. "Currently, our lake levels are little over 12' below normal pool and they've been on a decline since April 2010."

With dropping lake levels and no drought relief in site, the city is turning to their original water source, underground wells.

"Many cities have waited until their lakes were 10 percent of their volume to begin thinking about this, so we feel like we are ahead of the game and we're prudent to look at this early," Bartlett said.

Two well sites will be repaired and put back into use. A third never-used well will eventually start up and four new wells will be drilled along FM 225.

"Which will be able to feed into the line that the lake water feeds into and provide water in place of lake water, if necessary," Bartlett said.

About $6 million will be spent on next year's projects. Meanwhile, there are hints the voluntary water conservation plan could be stepped up. City management is drafting a rate plan for high water consumers.

"You begin paying a premium for water after you go above x-thousands of gallons and that continues to escalate, as well as having the ability to issue citations if we go mandatory," City Manager Jim Jeffers said.

And residents wanting to be a water spy have a job. A tip line for residents to call and report non complying residents is set up. It's the things you have to do during a predicted multi year drought.

Copyright 2011 KTRE. All rights reserved.