While recent rains did little to mitigate the drought conditions plaguing the entire state, the measurements at Osceola’s West Lake over this past week show water levels continue to drop. On Tuesday the 5th of September, the measurement at the spillway was 61” below normal pool levels. With this information, the Water Board and employees at Osceola Water Works are asking the community to stay diligent with all levels of voluntary water conservation.
“With West Lake being Osceola’s only viable water supply, we’re watching levels closely to make sure we can serve our customers safe, clean drinking water,” said Brandon Patterson, Osceola Water Work’s Superintendent. “Unless we receive measurable amounts of rain, customers will need to work together to reduce water waste and conserve anywhere possible.”
According to Patterson, as lake levels continue to drop, the challenges of treating raw water effectively will increase and possible upgrades to our treatment plant processes will likely be needed.
At the September 7th Water Board meeting, engineers from Veenstra & Kimm, Inc. presented a proposal to evaluate the existing water chemistry in West Lake and evaluate the water treatment plant in preparation for processing raw water at the lower lake levels. The proposal includes identifying capital improvements needed to handle current and future water supply needs.
“The Osceola Water Board and our dedicated team continue to look for solutions to mitigate the loss of safe, healthy drinking water,” said Alisha Kale, Water Board Chair. “While we can’t necessarily fight Mother Nature, we do encourage everyone to review Osceola’s Water Conservation Ordinance, Section 2 to make sure we’re all doing our part to help our neighbors.”
In the Water Board meeting, the decision to increase the Water Conservation Ordinance to Section 3 – Water Emergency, which will mandate water conservation measures, was tabled. A work session has been scheduled to make sure all options have been properly researched.
The Osceola Water Conservation Ordinance can be reviewed at www.OsceolaWaterWorks.com
In the video below, the team at Osceola Water Works shows the inlet area for West Lake and how water levels have reduced pools to dry creek beds and retracted shorelines by 50 to 100 meters from the original levels.