The City of Wichita Falls will spend $375,000 to perform 75 days of testing with a water evaporation suppressant. The testing starts Monday, July 21st at Lake Arrowhead.
The product being used, is called WaterSavr. This product has been proven to reduce evaporation by up to 30-percent in other bodies of water. Even if it lowers evaporation by just 10-percent it will have saved the City 4-million gallons of water.
"Basically, in essence we would double our direct potable reuse project's impact to our water supply," said Wichita Falls Public Works Director Russell Schreiber.
The product has been proven environmentally safe by both Texas and Federal agencies.
Schreiber said, evaporation is the biggest consumer of Wichita Falls water. Over 100-million gallons of water a day can evaporate during the hot and windy summer months.
The testing will factor in variables like temperature and rain. On cooler or rainy days there is a chance data from those days would not be calculated. Many City Council members said this was an important step to not just enhance the water supply, but also enhance job security.
"For me, I'm looking at the economics of it. If this is just one additional step that we can do to help prevent job loss and those sorts of things, then I think that's a safe bet," said District 1 City Councilor Ben Hoover.
Mayor Glenn Barham said that he has full faith this project is right for Wichita Falls.
"We're going to have to be able to show we tried everything we could to conserve our water and to extend our water supply. This is just another step in that process that will demonstrate that we tried everything under the sun to conserve water," said Mayor Barham.
If the city council did nothing, the water will evaporate even quicker.
Once the testing concludes, the data will be analyzed before the City will take any action to use WaterSavr in the future.