FAQs

Water Supply

GENERAL

The district serves four initial contracting parties from the amendatory contract – the cities of Fort Worth, Arlington, Mansfield and the Trinity River Authority; 27 municipal customers with contracts that range from 20 to 40 years; 11 industrial customers; and 15 irrigation customers. 
As of 2015, the district serves 2,096,667 people. This number is a compilation of all the citizens in TRWD’s service area and published in the Region C plan, which is updated every 5 years. 
During a typical year, 80 to 85 percent of the water TRWD provides to its primary wholesale customers comes from Cedar Creek and Richland-Chambers lakes. The other 15 to 20 percent comes from Lake Bridgeport, Eagle Mountain Lake and Benbrook Lake. (Benbrook Lake is managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers).
TRWD does not operate or maintain any constant level lakes. The district’s four lakes – Bridgeport, Eagle Mountain, Cedar Creek and Richland-Chambers – all fluctuate based on the weather conditions, water supply demands and evaporation.
The amount of water an entity can impound at a reservoir under its Water Rights Permit. Once a reservoir fills its conservation pool, any water above that level must be discharged unless the water is being temporarily stored for routing flood waters. Conservation Levels:
(TRWD Lakes)
Richland-Chambers 315.0
Bridgeport 836.0
Eagle Mountain 649.1
Cedar Creek 322.0
(Non-TRWD Lakes)
Arlington 550.0
Benbrook 694.0
Lake Worth 594.0  
TRWD’s Daily Report is updated every 24 hours and lists the following data for TRWD lakes as well as Benbrook Lake, Lake Arlington and Lake Worth: Conservation Level, Lake Level, Change in Lake Level, Pumpage from Lake, Pumpage into Lake, Flood Discharge, Water Release and Evaporation.
Water supplies are strained by growing populations and increasing demand. Each year, Texans spend more than $1 billion dollars on new or expanded water supply and wastewater treatment facilities. Water conservation not only saves money on your monthly water bill, it also minimizes future water shortages and costs. The district manages two water conservation campaigns: Save Tarrant Water and Water is Awesome.

WATER QUALITY

TRWD does not treat water for drinking. The district delivers raw water to its customers’ water treatment plants and storage lakes in Tarrant County where the cities then treat the water and supply more than 2 million residents. 
Since the late 1980s, TRWD has been collecting water quality data from each reservoir, the major tributaries to each reservoir and some wastewater plants near the reservoir. Samples are typically taken quarterly, and the data is used to monitor the health of the water on a short-term and long-term scale. The reservoirs were built for water supply, and for that purpose the water quality is in great shape. This chart shows the parameters that are monitored. Read the most recent water quality executive summary.
There is inherent danger when swimming in a natural lake because of naturally occurring bacteria. TRWD routinely samples the reservoirs and Trinity River for E. coli bacteria. This data is used to assess the waters based on the standards set by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and approved by the US EPA. Our reservoirs have shown great compliance under the standard for contact recreation, but we know at times of flooding when the water is turbid from runoff, the potential for elevated bacteria is a concern. The Trinity River is much more susceptible to a change in water quality from a small rain than reservoirs. Users should exercise caution on the river after a local rain. Get more information on the Trinity River’s water quality.
Geosmin, an organic compound commonly found in Texas lakes during the winter months, causes the taste and odor changes. Geosmin is not harmful to your health but does have a distinct earthy flavor and aroma. Customer cities are aware of the change and treat for geosmin; however, there are times when they cannot fully remove it. The district also performs regular water quality monitoring and posts these reports monthly.
Yes, all of the TRWD reservoirs have wastewater plants that either discharge directly to the lake or in close proximity. All these plants go through a process of treating the wastewater regulated by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality such that no solids are discharged and the water has received some method of disinfection. The total volume of wastewater entering the reservoirs is very small when compared to the amount of water coming from rainfall in the watershed of above each reservoir.
There are no fish consumption advisories for any of the TRWD reservoirs. Lake Worth, which is managed by the City of Fort Worth, has an advisory posted for channel and blue catfish and smallmouth buffalo that extends up to the segment of the Trinity River between Lake Worth and Eagle Mountain Lake (ADV-45). The Clear Fork of the Trinity River below Lake Benbrook and West Fork of the Trinity below Lake Worth continuing downstream south of Dallas do have advisories posted warning of no consumption of any species of fish (ADV-43). Please visit the Texas Department of State Health Services for maps and the latest posting of fish consumption advisories. 

IPL PROJECT

The water we use in our daily routines comes from a series of reservoirs scattered across the region. In fact, the two lakes that supply Tarrant County with most of its water – Cedar Creek and Richland-Chambers – are located in East Texas. Huge pipelines are used to bring water to places we need it. But over the decades, the metroplex has grown and with it the demand for more water. The number of households, businesses and people drinking from those lines has grown, too. At some point, our current two pipelines won’t be enough. The IPL offers a solution by allowing access to Lake Palestine, which will be used to supply City of Dallas customers as well as access to more water in Cedar Creek and Richland-Chambers. The IPL gives TRWD and Dallas Water Utilities the ability to bring an additional 350 million gallons per day into the metroplex. Plus it provides a way for the district to bring additional supplies from two water reuse projects in East Texas.
$2.3 billion, but those costs are being shared by TRWD and Dallas Water Utilities, and building one pipeline together instead of two separate lines actually adds up to approximately $1 billion in savings.
Since Lake Palestine is located further east than TRWD water supply reservoirs, Dallas Water Utilities (DWU) is paying the additional cost to make that connection. The cost to build other sections, the ones shared by DWU and TRWD, will be covered by both entities. And the final locations, places where the water begins its solo journey into Dallas or Tarrant County, will be the responsibility of the agency receiving the water. Though some of these costs are shared, the water in the system remains separate.
Yes, the pipeline is located along a separate path than TRWD’s existing pipelines and operates in a whole different electric grid. TRWD takes the responsibility of managing and operating a reliable system very seriously and understands the importance of providing a reliable water supply to its customers.
The first phase of the project is scheduled for completion by 2018. As the district continues to monitor water demands, new sections of pipeline won’t be added to the IPL until they are needed. This gives the district time to pay down debt, which adds up to huge savings. The IPL is expected to be operational by 2021.

Flood Protection

LAKE OPERATIONS

We are operating TRWD lakes to balance the watershed system and mitigate flood impacts on all waterbodies. There are several factors that must be considered, such as protection of the dam itself, flooding of low-lying homes, potential road closures that will limit emergency vehicle access and forecasted inflows/outflows.
We use sophisticated computer models to inform how we operate TRWD lakes. Engineers and management work together to decide what is best for the TRWD system. Our primary concern is the integrity of TRWD dams. TRWD has a flood flowage easement to elevation 668 feet on Eagle Mountain Lake and 856 feet on Lake Bridgeport. Improvements within the flood flowage easement are located there at the owner’s risk.
TRWD’s flood management operations do not allow pre-releases for several reasons. (1) TRWD does not have the legal right to pre-release downstream. (2) Any water released when a lake is not above its conservation level counts against TRWD’s permitted water supply amount; taking away from water that is no longer able to be used by Tarrant County citizens. (3) Frequently, the expected rainfall does not actually fall or does not reach TRWD reservoirs. The unpredictability of the weather makes these pre-releases too risky.

LAKE ELEVATIONS

The amount of water an entity can impound at a reservoir under its Water Rights Permit. Once a reservoir fills its conservation pool, any water above that level must be discharged unless the water is being temporarily stored for routing flood waters. Conservation Levels:
(TRWD Lakes)
Richland-Chambers 315.0
Bridgeport 836.0
Eagle Mountain 649.1
Cedar Creek 322.0
(Non-TRWD Lakes)
Arlington 550.0
Benbrook 694.0
Lake Worth 594.0
A flowage easement grants a reservoir operator, such as TRWD, a full, complete and perpetual right, power, privilege and easement to occasionally overflow, flood and submerge lands in connection with the operation and maintenance of a lake.
To monitor lake elevations, visit TRWD’s Lake Level Blog. Current lake elevations and whether the lake is above or below conservation and how much (in feet) is listed.
This information is available on TRWD’s Lake Level Blog. The blog is updated regularly when TRWD believes there is a potential threat to lake-area homes. The values given are based on no additional rain.
TRWD forecasters can typically provide an estimated calculation and can be reached during flood operations at 817-720-4296. Forecasted elevations are also posted on TRWD’s Lake Level Blog. The blog is updated regularly when TRWD believes there is a potential threat to lake-area homes. Values are based on no additional rain.
These numbers are posted on TRWD’s Lake Level Blog. The blog is updated regularly when TRWD believes there is a potential threat to lake-area homes. Values are based on no additional rain.

LAKE RECREATION

Lake closures at TRWD reservoirs are posted on TRWD’s Lake Level Blog and Facebook page. Information for Lake Worth can be found on the City of Fort Worth’s news page. Lake Bridgeport typically closes around 837.0 feet and Eagle Mountain typically closes around 650.5 feet. Each lake closure is evaluated individually based on forecasted inflows and outflows.
No, it’s still not safe. Higher lake levels hide debris and sometimes electrical equipment. It would not be safe to perform any type of water rescue should something happen. Fishing is allowed on the docks/banks, but please exercise extreme caution. If you see someone on Lake Bridgeport or Eagle Mountain Lake when it’s closed, call Azle Dispatch at (817) 444-3221.

PROPERTY DAMAGE MITIGATION

First, you should determine if you live in a floodplain. A floodplain is land bordering rivers and lakes subject to flooding and will be noted in your title policy when the homeowner purchased the house. As a naturally occurring feature of the landscape, a floodplain carries excess water when heavy rains cause streams to overflow. No matter what size or shape, all floodplains have one thing in common – they flood. To find out if you live on a floodplain and the frequency of flood risks, examine legal documents, such as your loan documents or deeds.
TRWD provides sandbags when resources are available. We will notify potentially affected lake area residents about their availability on our Facebook page.
Homeowners are responsible for their own property. If there is debris that is a hazard to navigation, TRWD will remove it. Otherwise, this is a natural occurrence. Any public assistance with cleanups will be posted on TRWD’s website and Facebook page.
Buoys can be requested through a permit at the lake office.

ROADWAYS

Road conditions can be found on the TxDOT website.

Recreation

TRINITY TRAILS

Trail maintenance is a shared responsibility between TRWD and the City of Fort Worth.
TRWD Trail Hours are 6am to 10pm.
No. The trails are specifically for walkers, joggers and bikers. Motorized vehicles are prohibited.
Yes, dogs are welcome on a leash. And don’t forget to clean up after your furry friends.

EAGLE MOUNTAIN PARK

The park is open seven days a week from dawn until dusk. 

TWIN POINTS PARK

Cash and major credits cards are accepted.