Former reservoir could become drinking water supply again

Wednesday, September 6th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

SAPULPA, Okla.--A former Sapulpa reservoir could become a drinking water supply and a recreational facility if improvements are made, officials said.

Country Club Lake went nearly dry after water began flowing out of it Aug. 26. A layer in a cliff at the south end of a dike at the lake's dam gave way, said Robert Petitt, Sapulpa's water superintendent.

Gavin Brady, a hydrologist with the Oklahoma Water Resources Board, said the break occurred where the dam meets natural grade.

"Our chief engineer seems to think it's a shell layer that went to solution and just allowed it to drain. It was pretty dry when I was out there."

The city may dredge the exposed lake bed and possibly rebuild the lake's intake structure, Petitt said. If those improvements go through, then proposals for the water supply and recreational facility could go through. The lake also could be restocked with fish, Petitt said.

The 40-acre lake supplied some of the city's drinking water as recently as 10 to 12 years ago, and since has been used primarily as a fishing area, he said. Sapulpa now has its drinking water piped in from Skiatook and Sahoma Lakes, he said.

There is no timetable when work on the lake, located three miles west of town, might begin, Petitt said.

"We're in the process of doing surveys and geotechnical work on it," Petitt said. "At some point, we'll find out how far we need to take the bottom and stuff like that. From there, who knows?"

To fund the repairs, Sapulpa could be eligible through the state's bond issue loan program, said Joe Freeman, who heads the financial assistance division of the Oklahoma Water Resources Board.

The board has no records on when Country Club Lake was built, but it likely was a project of the Great Depression-era Works Progress Administration.