Five options reviewed
By Elsa Maxey
A drying lake on the golf course property in Missouri City has residents wondering why the city isn’t doing anything about maintaining the lake’s water level.
According to the city, the body of water is called Kiamesha Lake and Missouri City has now prepared comprehensive responses about five options for maintaining its water level, and of course the best way to know about them is for the city to make them available, which Mayor Allen Owen has done. He said that residents notice the city watering the golf course and can’t understand why the water being used, effluent water, is not allowed to run it into the lakes. “We would be setting ourselves up for some very hefty fines and then would be prohibited from even having the water we use now for irrigation,” said Mayor Owen.
Based on the available sources of water, the city reviewed options. They did not turn out to be economically or environmentally feasible, reports the city. The price tag for the five options ranges from about $40,000 to $1.5 million dollars and almost all of them only take into account a one-time fill and no recurring operational costs. They include installing a meter on a nearby fire hydrant to pump water into the lake; filling the lake with effluent water, sometimes called gray water—cleansed of major pollutants, but undrinkable—from the golf course irrigation system. But it would require a state permit, the requirement Mayor Owen referred to that would subject the city to fines, if it were to fill the lake, and direct public contact with this water would be prohibited. Water could also be diverted with the use of a transmission line and a pump station, the third option, also requiring a state permit and not considered reliable water taken from an existing body of water.
What about diverting water from the city’s existing storm sewer system? It’s another option, only it does not provide sufficient water to fill and maintain the lake water level, according to the city. What about drilling a well? The city states that a five inch in diameter well would produce an enormous amount of water, but it would not be able to keep up with the evaporation rate of the lake, unless there were 21 wells pumping 24/7, an unacceptable option that increases groundwater usage.
Similar circumstances occur throughout Missouri City with lakes that do not have a natural water source and rain is also the only viable option for a sustainable water level, said the city.
While other places in the country have been deluged with rain and may be subjected to flooding from overflowing rivers and other bodies of water, praying for rain in this area appears to be the best option. Amen!