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$300 Million Texoma Pipeline Operational

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) J.D. Miles
J.D. is an award-winning reporter who has been covering North T...
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NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) - The North Texas Municipal Water District has turned on the tap to a massive source of water for more than 1.5 million North Texans.

“It is exciting for the water district,” said NTMWD spokeswoman Denise Hickey.

The NTMWD lost a quarter of its water supply five years ago when zebra mussels forced the district to stop using water from Lake Texoma.

In response, the district built a new $300 million pipeline down to Wylie to provide a trickle down effect for drought relief. It’s so long it will take days for water from the lake to get there… but it will eventually.

The big question is how much the water will actually help Collin County once it makes its way through the new pipe nearly 50 miles from where it goes under.

“We have the two pipelines; one will be bringing in Texoma water supply the other will bring in other water sources,” said Hickey.

Texoma water used to flow into Lake Lavon, but because of the zebra mussels, the new pipeline takes water around it. Water from both lakes is blended at the treatment plant since water from Lake Texoma is too salty to drink.

Thus, the pipeline won’t help elevate Lake Lavon’s astonishingly low lake level, and as it continues to dry up, the Texoma pipeline will pump 75 million gallons a day. That’s about a quarter of the water supply flowing into North Texas for the first time in five years.

People should start receiving some Texoma water out of their taps by the weekend.

Officials told CBS 11 News that rain and conservation are the only solutions to the drought.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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