The Early Days - Pump Houses and Lake Water
Before PKWSC the water used by the people living or vacationing on PK Lake came directly from the lake. Everyone had a pump house that either froze in the winter or rusted out, requiring a new pump every year or so. Drinking water was hauled from town in milk jugs or five-gallon containers, or purchased at the local store. The local camps and restaurants posted signs stating that the water was not potable. Most restaurants made their iced tea with bottled water, but you could quickly tell if they didn’t. Some individuals treated their water by sending it through filters or adding a chemical to clean it up. But it was still lake water and did not meet any of the Public Drinking Water requirements.
1990 – An Ultimatum for Change
In the early 1990’s the state of Texas told the commercial camp and restaurant owners to either get their water systems up to current standards or form a regional water system. It was an ultimatum that threatened their livelihood and viability of Possum Kingdom Lake as a residential community and recreational destination.
After evaluating their alternatives, local business owners chose to form the Possum Kingdom Water Supply Corporation (PKWSC). Led by the vision and fueled by the energy of George Bailey, their goal was to deliver potable water to businesses and residences around Possum Kingdom Lake using state-of-the-art technology that meets or exceeds standards set by the State of Texas.
1992 – PKWSC Becomes a Reality
The articles of incorporation for PKWSC were signed May 11, 1992, by George Bailey, J.M. McNallen, Paul Descoteaux, Donald Heinze, Charlie Gray, Charles Garrett, Maxie Roman, Gordon Simmons, and Nancy Bailey. Each of them made significant contributions and sacrifices to make the PKWSC vision a reality.
1995 – The Membership Drive Begins
For years the business owners and residents of PK dreamed of having good water to wash vegetables, make coffee and take a shower. They were anxious to make that happen. The initial member solicitation drive started March 15, 1995, with good success. But the hard work was just getting started.
Owners and residents could not fund the project on their own but their initial support helped launch PKWSC. In October, 1999, Bonnie Borden joined as the first employee. In October, 2001 PKWSC recruited John Wendele as the System Manager. The design and long-term plan for the system began.
2003 – 1,900 Members Take Their First Drink
In the fall of 2002, seven years after the initial membership drive, funding was secured from the USDA Rural Development Fund, and the Texas Water Development Board and construction began. In the fall of 2003, PKWSC completed phases I, II and III, delivering water to 1,900 members on the east and west sides of the lake.
2006 – It’s Finally Coming
Construction began for Phase IV, Gaines Bend in July with funding from USDA Rural Development. This brought 225 members to the system. This construction included a third lake crossing, a pump station, and storage tank as well as a standpipe.
2007 – Phase IV is Complete
The members in Gaines Bend were connected to the system in late Spring. This was a long wait but worth it.
2011 – More Capacity is Added
In 2008 the Board of Directors initiated plans to expand the capacity of the water treatment plant. These plans and funding came to fruition in 2011. The plant went from a 1 million a day capacity to a 2 million a day capacity. Two additional reverse osmosis trains were added and fronted with a micro-filtration system.