The Osceola Water Works Board of Trustees would like to thank everyone who spent the evening of October 26th, 2023 with us. We would also like to thank the representatives from the city, the reservoir commission, and other community leaders who participated in the Town Hall panel. We truly hope the information provided was able to make sense of the current drought conditions and provide confidence in all the actions being taken to mitigate the safe and healthy supply of water for our community now and for the foreseeable future.
If the prolonged drought continues, the supply of available water in West Lake will continue to diminish. The Osceola Water Works team along with the city and local officials have been working on solutions to provide access to quality water. The first weekend of November, divers will extend the lower intake in West Lake by 4-feet. Raising the lower intake will provide access to quality water located beneath the upper intake’s limit.
Since the water conservation ordinance was initiated in the Fall of 2022, the Osceola Water works team has been in discussions with Clarke County Emergency Management. Clarke County Emergency Management will provide additional services as conditions deem necessary.
The City of Osceola has consulted with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and is working on a plan to bring treated water from the Osceola Wastewater Treatment Plant to West Lake. The DNR, State of Iowa and the City of Osceola are carefully considering the safety and viability of such a plan.
Some other resources that are being considered include: researching the feasibility of accessing the water located in the rock quarry north of West Lake, speaking with private property owners at Arbor Valley Lake, and collaboration efforts with SIRWA once their Treatment Plant goes on line in 2024. These sources, while promising, will still require a large amount of infrastructure, engineering, and cost to make them a reality.
Studies done as part of the Clarke County Reservoir development program, show that drilling wells to the Jordan Aquifer, drawing water from outside the county, or accessing pipelines from Des Moines or even Kansas City would not only be cost prohibitive from an infrastructure standpoint, but also provide little in safe, treatable water. We believe the solutions above, along with the future development of the Clarke County Reservoir will be the best solution to our current water supply needs.
These points are just part of the discussions that took place at the Town Hall meeting on Thursday, October 26th, 2023. The Osceola Water Board of Trustees, The City of Osceola, and others continue to review every option available and will continue to primarily focus on providing safe quality water to our customers.
For the full discussion form the two-hour Town Hall, please watch the video embedded below.