Bartlesville water system holding up in midst of drought

BARTLESVILLE, Okla. - Despite a slow increase in demand on the water supply due to current hot and dry conditions, Bartlesville's water treatment system is doing well, according to city officials.

"We are meeting demand and we have made improvements," City of Bartlesville Water Director Mike Hall told 2NEWS, saying currently demand is at around 12 million gallons a day.

Earlier this month, the city reduced the water pressure after asking residents to voluntarily conserve their water usage while the city attempted to resolve a treatment plant water filtration issue — an issue caused by increased water demand.

After officials and city crews mechanically and chemically cleaned the city's six filters which they found clogged with silt, sand and dirt — due to the high water demand — production returned to near normal levels.

Since then, according to Hall, two filters have been operating according to their design, and several close to their design.

"Water treatment is a dynamic system," said Hall, saying overall the whole system is in "pretty good shape."

Concerning Bartlesville's water levels and the lakes from which Bartlesville draws its water, Hulah Lake is down a foot and Hudson Lake three feet.

"(The lake levels are) good but if this persists, we are going to have an issue," said Hall, saying it will probably not happen this year but adding that forecasters are predicting over the long term above average temperatures and below average precipitation.

"Sooner or later all the demand has to catch up with you."

The City of Bartlesville supplies water to not only Bartlesville residents, but to three additional municipalities, five water districts and to a private water company.

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