The Duncan Banner

Local News

November 6, 2013

Duncan explores water supply options

DUNCAN — With a two-year drought continuing, the City of Duncan explored options to offset declining water caches at area lakes.

Scott Vaughn, Duncan Public Works director, presented five options to the Duncan City Council as part of a special meeting Tuesday. The options ranged from installing a larger pipeline from Lake Fuqua to pumping more water from Waurika Lake.

Because of the lack of rainfall, Waurika Lake is at 44 percent of the conservation pool. Based on rainfall patterns during the drought, Waurika Lake could continue to provide water to Duncan until about mid-2015.

Duncan’s two backup water sources, Lake Fuqua and Lake Humphreys, are down to 48 percent. Humphreys could keep Duncan in water for just more than a year. Fuqua would have a water supply for about 3 1/2 years.

“This is an item that’s pressing,” City Manager Jim Freda said. “There’s no way to forecast our problem. We can’t ignore this problem.”

Since about 2003, the City of Duncan has been using Waurika Lake as its primary water source. The city is unable to pump from Duncan Lake and Clear Creek Lake, and the cost to do so would be insurmountable, Vaughn said.

Vaughn and Freda have been in discussions about the water situation since February. But it wasn’t until September the water supplies at Fuqua and Humphreys dropped below 50 percent of capacity.

“Summer is where you lose most of your water to evaporation,” Vaughn said.

To respond to the declining water sources, Vaughn presented five options the City of Duncan could take, after being approved by the council, to ensure Duncan will have enough water for its residents.

The first option explored drilling wells near Lake Humphreys to fill that lake using existing drainage paths upstream. Vaughn said 40 or more wells would be needed and it would be difficult to maintain that many wells.

Additional land and easements would be needed. The project would take about 18 months to complete and would cost upwards of $3.75 million.

The second option focused on drilling a well or wells and installing a pipeline to supplement the drinking water supply. The best underground water would be about 19 miles from the water treatment plant.

New land and easements would be needed. It would take about two or more years to complete, and it would cost more than $11 million to do.

The third option would be to install a larger pipeline from Lake Fuqua. This would allow the city to pump more water to respond to the demand.

“This is the best long-term option, but it’s also the most expensive,” Vaughn said.

The project, which could use existing easements for parts of the route, could take larger than two years and would cost upwards of $13 million.

The fourth option was to use Clear Creek and Duncan lakes to supplement raw water supply. Vaughn said this would be another reliable long-term supply option.

It would require the need for additional pumps and pipelines, but it would use existing land and easements. It would take a year or less to complete and would cost about $2 million.

“This spreads the demand over four lakes, five if you consider Waurika,” Vaughn said.

The final proposed option was to pump additional water from Waurika Lake to refill Lake Humphreys. In this option, the City of Duncan would pump it’s daily allowance of water, some to its customers, some to Lake Humphreys.

The council said the City of Lawton did something similar to ensure its water supply. If Duncan did this, it would take about 1 1/2 years to return Humphreys back to normal. It would take about a year or less to complete the project and would cost about $600,000, most of which would be in construction.

“If we take the same approach as Lawton took, we’ll run Waurika dryer much quicker,” Vaughn said.

He also said the time to take action to maintain Duncan’s water supply is fast approaching.

“That time is coming where we’ll wish we had done something if we don’t do something soon,” Vaughn said.

Text Only
Local News
  • Jurors to decide Bench competency issue today

    Jurors will hear final arguments on Thursday and then be asked to determine whether  23-year-old Miles Sterling Bench is mentally competent to stand trial for first-degree murder in the bludgeoning death of 16-year-old Braylee Henry nearly two years ago.

    April 17, 2014

  • 4-17 Decathlon Team1 0127.jpg DHS Decathlon Teams prepares

    Not every high school student gets an all-expense paid trip to Hawaii. But that’s exactly what’s happening with the 10 team members of the Duncan High School Decathlon Team.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Baseball tourney to be held in Wiles' memory

    The Duncan Middle School baseball team will hold a tournament in memory of the late Alyssa Wiles.

    April 17, 2014

  • Corporon memorial planned for Friday in Marlow

    A candlelight vigil for Dr. William Corporon and his grandson Reat Underwood will be held at Marlow High School at 8 p.m. Friday.

    April 17, 2014

  • Gay recuses himself from Morales trial

    Associate District Judge Dennis Gay on Wednesday disqualified himself from the trial of Dr. Oscar Morales Jr.

    April 17, 2014

  • Psychologists disagree on Bench’s mental competency

    Two psychologists on Tuesday offered differing opinions  about the mental competency of Miles Sterling Bench to stand trial for first-degree murder in the 2012 death of Braylee Henry.
    Bench, dressed in a dark blue suit, sat through a second day of court proceedings that will determine if the case against him goes to trial. The state is seeking the death penalty.

    April 16, 2014

  • Empire water removal proposal withdrawn

    A rural water district has canceled its application to withdraw up to 7.8 million gallons of additional water after Empire residents protested their private wells might run dry if that much groundwater was taken.
    A spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Water Resources Board said Tuesday the application for groundwater rights was withdrawn by Fox Engineering Inc., an Ardmore firm that works as a consultant for Rural Water District No. 3.

    April 16, 2014

  • Man stabbed at water treatment plant

    A 50-year-old man who said was approached by three males was stabbed and cut several time at the Duncan Water Treatment Plant, police said Tuesday.
    The attack took place around 9 p.m. Monday on the south side of the treatment plant office where two men forced the victim against a wall and a third man attacked him, police said.

    April 16, 2014

  • Maundy Thursday services reflect on night before crucifixion

    Maundy Thursday, the night before the crucifixion that some Chrisitians refer to as “Holy Thursday,” will be recognized with special services in some Duncan churches.
    The day is celebrated in recognition of the Last Supper and a foot washing ceremony that took place before the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

    April 16, 2014

  • jimmyseggstore.jpg Jimmy’s Egg set to open June 9

    A new Jimmy’s Egg restaurant will open in Duncan on June 9 and will begin interviewing job applicants later this month, the restaurant’s general manager said on Tuesday.
    The restaurant will seat about 150 and will employ 33 people, said Libby Shirra, the new general manager.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo