For the past 16 years, Irving has pumped water roughly 80 miles from Jim Chapman (Cooper) Lake to Lewisville Lake.
The City of Irving has carved its own path toward water independence through decades of planning, study and construction.
Depending on the time of year and flood level conditions, the city pumps 60 million gallons of water per day from Jim Chapman Lake, outside of Cooper, in northeast Texas. The City of Irving is unique in its ability to provide its own water supply to 240,000 residents, as well as a commercial and industrial business community.
During the 1950s, a devastating drought swept across Texas. As Irving began to blossom, city leaders prioritized a future water supply for the growing community. Plans were drawn to include water near Cooper Lake on the Sulphur River.
In 1968, Irving signed a contract for water rights with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In 1987, construction began on the dam-site location, and by 1991, the dam was complete and the lake was beginning to fill. During the next decade, pipelines were added for water transport, and the reservoir’s name — originally Cooper Lake — was later changed to Jim Chapman Lake.
Today, the city shares the rights to the lake’s water with the North Texas Municipal Water District; Cooper and Sulphur Springs, Texas; and the Upper Trinity Regional Water District.
It is a long journey from Jim Chapman Lake to an Irving resident’s kitchen or bathroom faucet. Irving’s water supply travels through six North and East Texas counties before it makes its way into a drinking glass.
The process begins when water from Jim Chapman Lake is pumped more than 40 miles west to Farmersville, Texas, and into a 12 million-gallon balancing reservoir. The reservoir collects and balances flow between pump stations, while alleviating pressure surges in the pipelines. From there, raw water is run through the Princeton Booster Pump Station, which transfers millions of gallons of water per day through 33 miles of 72-inch pipe. The facility houses a control room, which is operated 24/7, and monitors all of the facilities along the pipeline. Water from the pump station travels through the pipeline and several miles of creek channel before reaching Lewisville Lake, where it is stored for future use.
The City of Dallas’ Elm Fork Water Treatment Plant cleans and processes the city’s water supply from Lewisville Lake. Dallas then delivers the water to Irving’s Hackberry Pump Station, which houses five ground storage tanks that combined can hold 28 million gallons of water. The facility can pump 105 million gallons of consumable water per day to other pump stations and throughout the city for residents and businesses.
In addition to delivering high-quality drinking water to its residents, Irving is committed to incorporating state and federal standards and regulations in a cost-effective manner for taxpayers. The annual City of Irving Water Quality Report informs residents of its practices, including spending methods, irrigation guidelines and drinking water test data.
As Irving continues to develop and the population increases, the city will explore additional water conservation tactics, including reuse opportunities. Water reuse promotes environmental sustainability and water-efficient practices. It is an available drought tolerant water supply that uses treated wastewater for non-consumable uses, such as irrigation, and consumable water supply with additional treatment. Currently, the city has a permit from the state to reuse a portion of the Jim Chapman Lake water supply, and an agreement with the Trinity River Authority to use 25 million gallons of reuse water per day that has been treated at the wastewater treatment plant, some of which is already being used to irrigate the Irving Golf Club.
The city’s staff and leadership will continue to examine future supply planning in order to supplement its current resources and ensure that it is using water wisely and is prepared in the case of a drought.
Visit CityofIrving.org/Water-Utilities for more information on the Water Utilities Department, including conservation and water quality.
View more news and information about Irving’s Infrastructure investments by searching #IrvingInvests.