Over the past year, Lake Alan Henry has lost about 15 percent of its water. In March 2011, the water capacity at the lake was sitting at 93 percent. Now, it sits at 78 percent. Some of the water loss is due to the drought. However, as of late, it's also because millions of gallons of water have been pumped from the lake as the Lake Alan Henry Pipeline project nears completion.
"It's a big milestone, to see that water coming up here and the fruits of our labor getting completed. It's a big deal," City Engineer Wood Franklin said.
Franklin says the pipeline itself is now fully operational. Over the past several weeks it has pumped 250 million gallons of water from the lake.
"The pump station is pumping water and that terminal storage is actually full at this time," Franklin said.
However, just because the terminal storage is full, that doesn't mean the project is complete.
"The overall project isn't completed. You've got all these phases and it's not operational until every one of those phases is complete," Franklin said.
One of the remaining phases to complete includes the completion of the water treatment plant. Franklin says that could be done by late July, which means, shortly after, Lubbock residents could be drinking Lake Alan Henry water.
City Council member Paul Beane says the project has been successful so far. He says, despite what the drought has done to the lake, he's confident it will hold up for continued usage.
"Lake Alan Henry has held up better and longer than any other of the area lakes," Beane said.
Beane says he looks forward to the completion of the project.
"Any multimillion dollar project that has to cover 60 miles will always have bumps along the road, but, by and large, it's my opinion that the project has gone smoother than what I would have anticipated," Beane said.
There have been some delays with the completion of the treatment plant, but city engineers expect the progress to get back on track.
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