Water-Related News

Water diversion from Polk County an urban myth

A new study by the Lake County Water Authority shows that Clermont's booming development has little impact on water levels along the Clermont Chain of lakes

By Lauren Ritchie

Alligators from Florida are alive and well and patrolling the warren of sewers beneath New York City.

The hitchhiker in the back seat disappears during the ride, and the driver later learns that the hitchhiker is already dead — she died years ago at the same spot where he picked her up.

A babysitter covers a scary clown statue in the living room where her charges live — only to find out the family doesn't have a clown statue and that it was a killer dressed as one.

Urban legends, all.

But now comes a Lake-County-specific urban myth of our own: Government officials in Polk County are diverting water that is supposed to flow north into the Clermont Chain of Lakes, and that's why the water in south Lake is so low.

True or false? It depends who you ask.

Water experts say the lakes in the south part of the county are low because rainfall is about 60 inches short since 2005, the equivalent of losing more than a year's worth of rain in the space of a decade.

But plenty of south Lake residents, tired of their useless boat docks sticking feet out of the water, aren't so sure.

"There's something that's got to be going on," said John Ball, 65, who lives on Lake Louisa and harbors his own suspicions.

Perhaps that's because this myth about Polk County was truth about 15 years ago.