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April 2023

Bois d'Arc Lake: New 26-square-mile reservoir provides water supply for North Texas residents

Fannin County, Texas - Bois d’Arc Lake is the first major reservoir to be built in North Texas in nearly 30 years, a project led by the North Texas Municipal Water District. The lake, located northeast of Bonham in Texas’ Fannin County, will provide the water needed to serve a growing population of 1.7 million North Texans and is capable of storing 367,609 acre-feet of water (120 billion gallons).

Archer Western provided Construction Manager at Risk services for the 2-mile-long, 90-foot-tall earthen dam; the 210-million-gallon, 70-acre terminal storage reservoir and the associated raw water intake and spillway. Archer Western also self-performed construction activities for the raw water pump station.

The dam at Bois d'Arc Lake is a composition of heavy clay material, a slurry wall, and soil cement facing. Soil cement is a material composed of sand, cement, and water resulting in a stronger and more durable material to protect the clay composition of the dam from water erosion.

The dam also features a labyrinth spillway which allows floodwaters to flow over the dam in a controlled manner preventing the lake from overflowing and causing flooding downstream. The spillway is equipped with gates that can be opened or closed to control the flow of water.

Along the dam, the 110-foot-tall raw water intake structure allows water to be withdrawn from the lake and sent to the water treatment plant via the raw water pump station. The intake tower extends from the lakebed to the surface of the water, collecting water from varying depths within the lake to ensure a consistent supply of high-quality water. The tower's intake screens filter debris and large particles, preventing them from entering the treatment plant.

Bois d'Arc Lake's raw water pump station is responsible for pumping water from the raw water intake structure to the nearby water treatment plant, initially moving up to 90 million gallons per day (MGD) from the reservoir to the WTP. Designed by Freese and Nichols, Bois d'Arc Lake's raw water pump station the first in Texas to combine low-flow reservoir releases within the pump station facility, meeting all downstream environmental requirements with a reduced footprint. This design lowered capital and operations and maintenance costs by eliminating the need for a separate facility or vault.

Click here to read more about the project in Construction Digest.



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