Lake levels not an issue despite high temps

July 26, 2022

Conservation encouraged but supply looks good, director says

Bartlesville water supply remains “very good” despite high temperatures for days on end, Water Utilities Director Terry Lauritsen said this week.

“Right now we’re averaging 11 million gallons a day in water consumption and our water levels are at 97 percent, so we’re really in good shape for our water storage and what we have available to us,” Lauritsen said. “So despite the fact that we are in a so-called ‘micro-drought,’ we are in very good shape. I know we have had rain forecasted for later this week, so hopefully that will materialize.”

The City’s primary sources of water supply are the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-owned Hulah Lake, the City-owned Hudson Lake, and the Caney River.

“Hulah is technically our main source of water, but we pipe that water to Hudson Lake and take it from there,” Lauritsen said. “To put it into perspective, Hulah Lake has 7 billion gallons of water available for City of Bartlesville water supply compared to 800 million gallons at Hudson Lake.”

Lauritsen said the City has a drought contingency plan, but there are no indications that any measures will need to be implemented anytime soon.

“The plan outlines certain actions to be taken as lake levels recede,” he said. “For instance, if levels fall to 70-80 percent, we would ramp up our public education and information campaign to make sure everyone understands how they can help conserve water. We would begin to look at implementing restrictions at levels below 70 percent, and move to fairly restrictive measures at less than 50-60 percent.”

The City is also working to implement its Water Reuse System, which should be online next year.

Lauritsen said while there are no concerns at this time, it’s always good to conserve water when possible.

Water conservation tips

Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth or shaving. (Saves 4 to 10 gallons a day.)

Don’t take marathon showers. (Saves 3 to 7 gallons per shower.)

Run your dishwasher only when full. (Saves up to 15 gallons per load.)

Run the washing machine only when full and adjust the water level setting carefully. Your machine uses 22 to 25 gallons per load. (Saves enough water for one to two loads every week; saves hot water cost, too.)

A dripping, trickling or oozing faucet or showerhead can waste from 75 to several hundred gallons of water per week, depending on the size of the drip. Worn out washers are the main cause of these leaks, and a new washer generally cost about $1.

Faucets typically use two to seven gallons per minute. Installing a low-flow aerator can reduce the flow by as much as 25 percent — or up to a gallon and a half per minute. Remove and clean aerators often.

Leaky toilets make trickling sounds and can waste 50 gallons of water a day or more. Parts are inexpensive and fairly east to replace.

Do outdoor watering in the cool of the day (early morning is best), and repair leaky hose connections and sprinkler valves. Install rain sensors in timing devices to prevent watering when it’s unnecessary. And remember the One Inch Rule: If there has been an inch of rainfall during the week, you don’t need to water at all.