Estimates say that by January 1, 2015, Graham will reach its critical level for water intake.
Faced with this information, City Council members are looking at three main alternate water sources:
"One is getting some water from Possum Kingdom, two is getting water from ground water sources in Young County, and three is finding some reuse of our effluent water which right now we pump downstream to Possum Kingdom," explained Graham City Manager David Casteel.
The Possum Kingdom, or PK, lake option is the most costly out of the three. Graham does not have a reverse osmosis plant, so in order to use the water, they would have to change their treatment facility entirely or blend the Possum Kingdom water in with the existing supply.
Tacking on the dollar signs is the fact that workers in graham would have to transport the water from PK 20 miles North.
With effluent, or untreated, water, officials would be looking to pump the water through a biological filter back into lake graham.
"With ground water, there's no aquifer in this area, but there is a water producing sand, and there has been some indication that it might be able to be a supplemental supply for us," said Casteel.
Graham City Council authorized Casteel and others to pursue a private groundwater partnership to help keep future well costs down. they also gave the green light to obtain permits to move effluent water to lake graham...
Usually the permits to move well water or treated water to the lake would typically take around three-hundred days. But since this is a water emergency, they hope to get it reduced to two or three months.
"If we reduce the demand in our lake by about 1.25 million gallons, we can flatten that curve out which will extend the life of our facilities much longer, give us the chance to get a reign in here," said Casteel.
Graham city officials also found an alternate intake at Lake Graham that was put there when workers constructed the dam back in 1957. City Council authorized for that location to be used to start pumping water to Graham's water treatment plant.