Saturday, August 24, 2013

North Pool's Pumping Setup: Closer View

Using a 6.5 square meter sail and light air racing sailboard, I made my way to the North Pool's pump area and shot a few pictures. 

One of the pump's intakes already had a bathtub-like swirlie on the surface.  I expect this setup to last two weeks or less if pumps are running full time.  It'll be interesting to see how far they have to run pipe to keep emptying the North Pool. 

This configuration is at risk for being flooded in a significant runoff event.  Last fall's 7,000 acre foot rise would inundate the pumps and their diesel tanks.  I'd like to think the city has a plan to move them should rivers and streams start flowing heavily.  That I'm praying for. 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

North Pool Pump Setup

Twin Buttes Reservoir won't flow into Lake Nasworthy unless the City pumps it.  Gajeske's three pumps moved from the South Pool to the North.  The pumps sit to the right of the North Pool's huge gate.

When I arrived at the North Pool to see the setup I could hear the pumps running across the water.  They'd stopped by the time I left.  Later I drove over a nearly full Lake Nasworthy.  The City pumped Nasworthy up in time for Labor Day weekend.   

The remnants of South Pool pumping can be seen below.

The smell of diesel fuel arose from this spot:

The South Pool has a mere 200 acre feet, thanks to nearly four months of pumping.  It's the North Pool's turn to ensure Lake Nasworthy recreation and provide San Angelo municipal water.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

North Pool Headed to Dead Pool Status

The time nears for Gajeske's pumps to move to the North Pool, given it's approaching dead pool status  The three monster pumps took the South Pool from over 4,000 acre feet to less than 200.  The pumps ran for nearly four months at the South Pool.

Drought, evaporation and watershed groundwater depletion teamed up to leave Barnhart, Big Lake and Mertzon struggling to supply public water.  Meanwhile oilfield companies purchase water from ranchers and private property owners.  A friend owns property on Spring Creek, which stopped flowing more than once this year.  He said a neighbor sold a chunk of his land to oilfield companies and they're putting in multiple wells.

While Chuck Brown of the UCRA speaks of hurricanes and tropical storms filling our lakes, that hasn't been the case since I moved here in 1994.  The biggest refill I've experienced came from consistent rains over several seasons.  They recharged ground water, causing springs and rivers to run steady.  The water that took Twin Buttes from 3% full to 30% was crystal clear.  I could stand in shoulder deep water and see my toes.  I windsurfed what felt like the Caribbean, where rocks and vegetation could clearly be seen ten feet below.

With everybody putting a straw in the earth and selling the water to their brother, I'll venture that was my once in a lifetime experience.    People may see the bottom of Twin Buttes soon, but I doubt it's under a layer of water.

Update 8-12-13:  The Standard Times caught up to TBR with their story on moving the pumps.  Their story maintained the city's illusion that combining the pools would reduce evaporation.  The amount transferred from the South Pool went to the city's daily water use or seeped/evaporated in transfer.  There was nowhere near the promised five foot rise in the North Pool.  The South Pool furnished San Angelo water for nearly four months.  How much longer will the North Pool provide?. 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

City Pumps Cease Again

As of August 1 all three pumps at the South Pool had stopped.  The City of San Angelo moved every bit of the recent runoff to the North Pool.

Recall Councilman Paul Alexander's assertion that pumping the South Pool would raise the North Pool by five feet?  Moving over 4,000 acre feet since mid April did virtually nothing.  On April 1 the North Pool stood at 1887.98 feet above sea level.  As of today the North Pool's elevation was 1887.09.  That's a drop of nearly one foot after three months of full bore pumping. 

At this point the next step for the South Pool is Mother Nature's.   The City could move the pumps to the North Pool, which will soon enter it's own dead pool status.  Also, it'll have been 105 days since pumping began when Council meets again.  If new Water Chief gives Council its requested update, it would be 55 days late.