WAURIKA LAKE, Okla._Waurika Lake officials are one step closer to removing massive amounts of silt from the lake's pumping site.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has completed 5,000 pages worth of sampling studies of the sediment to determine the best way to remove it. With water levels sitting at just under 33 percent capacity, the lake is predicted to provide water for the cities it serves until February 2016. Silt removal could extend that time frame by several months. Officials say they will remove the silt once they've determined a removal strategy. The silt removal will also give them an extra cushion for future droughts. Lake officials are estimating an additional nine months to a year on the lake's life expectancy.
"As the drought progresses, we will be able to run the lake as a smaller lake, given the smaller amounts of in-flow," explained Dave Taylor, Waurika Lake district manager.