Brown-Tinted Lake Gives Residents the Blues

Russwood Acres is a quiet community set on Lake Russwood, just a few miles west of Tyler. Dave Smith and his wife, Dee, moved here two years ago from Dallas to enjoy country living. Dave remembers what drew him to the community.

"When we decided to buy the house, what we saw and made our decision on was the back porch and the lake. We didn't even really look at the house that much."

Unfortunately, that once-blue lake has turned brown, due to rain last November that washed sediment down from the city's Lake Palestine water treatment plant a half-mile away. Rather than dirt, which is easily washed away, the rain washed down dye from exposed clay. And even seven months later, that sediment still stains Lake Russwood brown.

The contractor has begun to study the problem, and the city is overseeing the situation. Greg Morgan, Operations Manager for the City of Tyler Water Department, told KLTV the problem rests with the contractors. The City will act as a mediator between the two sides.

Mr. Smith said, "We've heard from Forestry Service, and TNRCC, and EPA. This could take two years to clear up on its own."

The people of Russwood Acres were very proud of their lake. They don't allow electric motors in it. Once every year, they get together and clean up the lake so they can have it for their families to swim in, to fish in. But for now, the once blue-green lake that they loved remains a dirty brown.