Sulphur considers bringing drinking water from Lake of the Arbuckles

By: Helen Headlee Email
By: Helen Headlee Email

Today, Sulphur's water comes from the ground, but in a few years, that may not be the case.

The city is looking at getting water from the Lake of the Arbuckles.

"A lot of communities in that area of the state are kind of revisiting how they use and utilize that groundwater resource," said Brian Vance, with the Oklahoma Water Resources Board.

One reason could be due to the results from a study of the Arbuckle - Simpson Aquifer, according to Vance.

He said the study shows the amount of water taken from the aquifer will have to be reduced to protect springs and streams.

"So that requires maybe some communities in that area that are currently utilizing the Arbuckle-Simpson perhaps to look at other sources to suit their long term needs," Vance said.

The Federal Reclamation Board is conducting a three year study on the matter. The first part of the study, made possible by a $200,000 dollar grant, will tell the city whether getting water from the lake to Sulphur is even feasible. If so the city will apply for another grant for project engineering.

Some residents are turning a cold shoulder to the idea.

"We're sitting right on top of a natural resource which is springs," said Heather Roberts, a Sulphur resident. "I don't understand why they can't put it through a purification process and use it for the town.

But others want to see the process flow.

"In case they go dry, we might need to have some from the lake," said Jodie Kennedy, who also lives in Sulphur. "So I think we should reserve our right to get water from the lake."

In either case, the plan trickles on.The first part of the Federal Reclamation Board's study is expected to be complete by March or April.


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