Fencing in a future water Tulsa city reservoir

Monday, June 24th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

The future of Tulsa's water supply lies in a piece of Wagoner County property.

The land for a reservoir wasn’t supposed to be touched for many more years, but illegal dumping on the property pushed city leaders to move up plans to build a fence around the entire property.

News on Six Reporter Emory Bryan says the nearly one mile square piece of property is the site of a third reservoir for the City of Tulsa. The city bought the land 20 years ago because it's a natural gulch that could easily be dammed.

Soon - the property will be fenced to more clearly mark the boundaries and stop illegal dumping. Clayton Edwards, City of Tulsa Environmental Operations: "We're doing some survey work to establish the exact boundaries of the property, we've had trouble with people dumping there and riding motorcycles and 4 wheelers.”

The new reservoir will hold water delivered by pipeline from Lake Hudson - a clean and reliable source of water. The site for the reservoir is just east of Broken Arrow, and north of Coweta - a largely rural but fast growing area. "Fencing it will give us some control of the property so bike trails won't get established and dumping won't happen on the property out there."

The city will pay for the new fence with money from utility bills - a separate and independent account for the city - that unlike the general fund isn't suffering from the downturn of the economy. The new reservoir is 6 miles from the closest water treatment plant - and probably 15 years away from construction. Building it - and the pipelines that serve it - will cost millions of dollars - but the city thinks it's needed to ensure Tulsa will have the quantity - and the quality of water it needs for the next 50 years.

The city recently raised the price of water used by customers outside the Tulsa city limits. That money is part of what's being used to make small improvements like the fencing.