The North Texas Municipal Water District could soon turn to an old source for its water supply.
While water from Lake Texoma has long been considered unusable because of a zebra mussel infestation, approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers could allow seasonable pumping.
“It is making progress. We’re very hopeful that we will receive permission,” said NTMWD spokeswoman Denise Hickey.
Hickey says 28 percent of the NTMWD supply is locked up at Lake Texoma. But because of the mussels, they can only access that water during cooler weather and under certain criteria.
“The zebra mussels are not spawning, water levels must be below 54 degrees, and there are no detectable immature zebra mussels present,” Hickey said.
Under Corps supervision, approval could come as soon as the next week or so, which would allow pumping as soon as January.
Hickey says that would allow the NTMWD to recoup between 25 and 30 percent of the water supply at Lake Texoma.
She says the district is optimistic but is still answering Corps questions and overlooking paperwork before a final decision can be made.