This summer the Poteau Valley Improvement Authority (PVIA) will test a new way to improve the clarity and health of the water in Lake Wister, begin the construction of a sophisticated computer model of how the lake works, and test water quality on 20 small streams around the county that eventually deliver their water to the lake.
Lake Wister, best known for its good crappie and catfishing, summer camping, and water skiing, is also the source of drinking water for most of LeFlore County, as well as parts of Latimer and Haskell counties. PVIA has been treating water from Lake Wister and providing it to towns and rural water districts since 1969. The intervening years have unfortunately seen water quality in the lake decline significantly.
Turning lake water into clean, safe drinking water has become more difficult and expensive.
Several years ago PVIA began a new initiative to both test innovative ways to improve water quality and to better understand the problems the lake faces. In partnership with the Choctaw Nation, the City of Poteau, AES Shady Point, and the US Geological Survey, PVIA has collected four years of new information on both the water flowing into the lake and on the lake itself. [click to continue…]