Russwood residents asked to conserve water, leak flowing into Lake Texoma

Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 6:25 PM CDT
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SHERMAN, Texas (KXII) - All of Texoma is dealing with at least a severe drought, some parts even facing an extreme drought.

Residents in Russwood, a small neighborhood in Pottsboro, said they’ve started hearing something odd for how dry it is- running water.

According to Texas Water Utilities, the running water is a leak.

“This much water coming down this hill directly into Lake Texoma is just so wasteful to me, and it just has me very concerned,” said Sally Thomason, a Russwood resident.

Thomason said she first noticed water flowing into Lake Texoma two weeks ago.

Texas Water Utilities, owned by SouthWest Water Company, said it was notified on July 23rd of a leak.

“I don’t know why they’re having such a hard time finding where it is coming from,” said Thomason.

In a statement to KXII, Terry Benton, vice president of operations, said the leaking water is flowing horizontally versus up the surface, making pinpointing the source more difficult for excavators as they explore about 600 linear feet of limestone and pipeline routes.

“I’m really concerned about us really low on water,” said Thomason. “We don’t really have much rain in the forecast still, and it’s so hot, and they’ve been sending out notices and threatening fines.”

The notice asked residents to conserve with a watering schedule.

The penalties for violating the restrictions include a flow device placed in the line and a $50 charge for it.

If that’s not enough, it said residents could have their water completely shut off for at least seven days and have to pay a reconnection fee.

“This is really a big problem,” said Thomason. “I’m afraid we really need to do more to get that taken care of.”

Vice President of Operations Texas Water Utilities, Terry Benton, sent the following statements to KXII:

“Texas Water Utilities is closely monitoring a leak that is affecting customers in the Russwood neighborhood in Pottsboro, TX. Since being alerted to the leak around July 23, we have contracted a company to excavate several small sites to identify the source of the leak, but the efforts have unfortunately been unsuccessful thus far.

Due to the rocky composition of the ground, leaking water is flowing horizontally versus up to the surface. This makes the process for pinpointing the source more difficult, as there is approximately 600 linear feet of limestone and pipeline route that needs to be explored and/or excavated.

We understand the concerns of our Russwood customers given current drought conditions and the urgent need to conserve water. We are actively seeking solutions to quickly identify the source of the leak while minimizing damage to homeowners’ property through excessive excavation.

We sincerely apologize to our customers for this inconvenience.”

“The leak is not releasing enough water to impact water pressure or quality at this time. Excessive heat is amplifying dry conditions, and the Tanglewood water system that serves the Russwood neighborhood is currently under mandatory Stage 1 water restrictions. We expect with the watering schedule in place that the 10% mandatory reduction will continue to be met.”

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