Due to the drought, water in the lakes has been receding and revealing a large amount of trash and debris left behind by visitors, and its costing the city a lot of money to clean it up.
Lake levels have been hovering between 30 and 40 percent for months. With the water so low, a big problem has been revealed, one that the city has been looking into for the past year.
"It was basically the water receding and how horrible it was. Of course, we had no idea of knowing how much people had thrown trash and debris in it as long as it was water in the lake," said Pat Hoffman, Property Administrator for Wichita Falls.
Hoffman said, the shores were full of sunken boats, concrete blocks, tires, lawn chairs and a host of other objects. "As of early this morning they have hauled up a total of 29 tons of debris out of the lake bed," said Hoffman.
City officials shopped around and contracted the clean up job for a costly ten thousand dollars, Which doesn't include the amount the city will have to fork over for the cost of the landfill. Money that Hoffman said, city officials didn't account for in the budget.
"We're having to dig into our budget and that's part of the problem, because we don't budget for things like that," said Hoffman.
The clean up efforts have been underway for the past week and Thursday the lake was almost pristine. Hoffman said, citizens need to start policing those that litter and be more mindful of the trash they have as well.
"This is your city and take pride in it. If you see someone else throw something, go pick it up. And if you take stuff out there take it back don't throw it just in the lake," said Hoffman.
The lake is a great place to go, but trash in the lake pollutes the environment and puts wildlife in danger. "Number one, it's unsightly and we're in an effort to keep the city beautiful and attract new business and things. And on top of that, it does pollute and causes harm to the wildlife and everything else," said Hoffman.
Hoffman was asked if city officials considered dredging the lakes to remove the remaining trash. She said, the city recently put together another lake study committee, which will meet for the first time next week. That committee will put together plans and directions for lake projects for the future.
There was a committee formed and a study conducted in the early 1990's, that looked at dredging the lake, but the process was just too expensive.