After weeks of heavy rain turning our lakes brown with mud and debris, 2 Works For You spoke with the City of Tulsa on what it's doing to keep your drinking water safe.
60-miles of pipe is what connects Lake Spavinaw to Lake Yahola in Tulsa.
Lake Spavinaw and Lake Eucha is where the majority of Tulsa’s drinking water comes from.
Lake Yahola at the Mohawk Water Treatment Facility is where that water is collected.
The city also takes in water from Lake Oologah.
Roy Foster, the city’s water supply manager, said before any water hits the pipeline to Tulsa, debris is blocked by screens.
“The real challenge is getting it from the lakes to the plant and then removing the solids and killing the bacteria,” said Foster.
Foster said the sediments naturally settle to the bottom of Lake Yahola.
When the water gets pumped into the treatment plant, the first round of chemicals are added to catch even more sediments in the water, Foster said.
Again, those chemicals attach to the sediments and help them fall to the bottom.
Foster said an underwater rake pulls the sediment away.
The treated water goes through more filtration and chemical treatments before leaving and headed into the distribution system.
”We’re fortunate because we’re a large facility, so we have much deeper pockets to be able to pay the chemical costs, we’ve got larger areas to settle water,” said Foster.
The Mohawk facility has an on-site lab where scientists can check the water quality at every step of the treatment process.
Foster said its business as usual at the treatment facility and flooding on area lakes is not affecting water quality or safety.
The city said the treatment facility isn’t running at full capacity.
Right now, between 40 to 50 million gallons are being pumped out of the treatment facility.
On a hot summer day between 80 to 100 million gallons get treated per day.
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