El Dorado Lake

To have great tasting water it certainly helps to have great source water. El Dorado Reservoir is fairly young reservoir, completed in 1981. The drainage basin above El Dorado is mainly grasslands and rainwater runoff comprises most of the water entering the Lake. Because of these factors, the water is relatively soft (low mineral content) and the clarity is also very good. El Dorado Reservoir is an 8400-acre Corps of Engineers reservoir with a capacity of over 50 billion gallons. This amount of storage should allow the City to draw 23 million gallons per day in what is classified as a 50-year drought. Water from the lake flows by gravity through large transmission lines to the El Dorado Water Treatment Plant.

Algae taste and odor problems are usually not a problem in El Dorado for two reasons. First, we have very clean, good quality source water in El Dorado Lake with low nutrient levels. Excessive nutrients lead to algae blooms. Second, for any algae blooms that have occurred, we have a powdered activated carbon treatment system that absorbs the taste and odors associated with algae. This system operates continuously to give us the best tasting water possible.

Source Water Protection

The City of El Dorado and the Butler County Conservation District have put together a plan to protect and extend the life of El Dorado Lake. The useful lifespan of a lake is largely dependent upon the rate in which it fills in with sediment. Sediment basically comes from two sources. Rainfall runoff carries soil particles from cropland, rangeland and from the banks of creeks, into the lake where it settles on the bottom. The other source is shorelines erosion which causes the banks to erode and slough off into the lake. Best Management Practices (BMP's) can be implemented on farms and ranches at very little cost to the land owner. BMP's are any practices that increase the water quality of runoff into the tributaries of El Dorado Lake, such as terracing, grass buffer strips, fencing cattle out of timber, providing alternative water sources such as windmills, etc. BMP's are a benefit to the landowner, because it allows them to retain valuable soil.

Help Keep Our Streams Clean

The City of El Dorado is concerned about water quality in Kansas streams and encourages everyone to do their part to reduce the amount of pollution entering stormwater drains. Remember, anything you dump on your driveway, curb or street, drains directly into the Walnut River.