Tracking Your Water: Lake to the Tap

Newschannel 6 is tracking your water supply from the sky to the tap. The water falls as rain in two different watersheds; the Wichita River Watershed and the Little Wichita River Watershed.

The Wichita River Watershed feeds Lake Kemp which feeds Lake Diversion. It stretches west into Dickens County, through the Counties of Motley, Cottle, King, Foard and Baylor. The Little Wichita River Watershed gets runoff from Baylor, Archer, Clay and extreme northern Young Counties.

Once the water is in the lakes, it travels about 60 miles to the Wichita Falls treatment facilities. Water from Kickapoo and Arrowhead are carried in and kept in a 75 million gallon secondary reservoir within city limits where it is mixed together. The first step of pre-sedimentation happens there. That's when the first pieces of dirt and debris are removed from the water.

Water from Lake Kemp and Diversion is carried via irrigation ditch to a reservoir northwest of Wichita Falls. That water is a bit different and treated in the reverse osmosis plant. The Kickapoo and Arrowhead water is sent to treatment.

All the raw water is treated with chlorine dioxide to start killing pathogens. It also takes out some of the taste and smell.

The raw water goes through many different processes that cleanse it. From there, the water treated with the reverse osmosis process is mixed with water that is conventionally treated to give it flavor.

From treatment it's pumped into water storage tanks then pumped out through the towers, down the lines, up your pipes and into your taps.

From there, the treated water is also sent to a number of Texoma cities. Iowa Park, Electra, Harrold and Holliday take it to the west. Burkburnett, Byers and the Dean-Dale District all take it north. To the south, Archer City and other towns take some water, according to officials.

Paul Harrop, Newschannel 6