MINEOLA, Texas (KETK) — Over the weekend, the owner of Holiday Pines Lake in Mineola received several messages about loud noises surrounding the lake.
Holiday Pines Lake is also referred to as the Enchanted Lakes Community. Residents told KETK News that it looks like the water level has gone down about three feet.
“Some of the neighbors, I guess investigated further and identified that there were two diesel pumps extracting water,” said owner of Holiday Pines Lake Nick Patton.
Patton explained that the Smith County Sheriff’s Department, game wardens, and the Texas Commission on Environmental Equality (TCEQ) are looking into the situation.
“The activity is illegal, and he has no right to be pulling the water directly out of a private lake,” said Patton.
TCEQ said their Tyler Regional Office conducted a complaint investigation into the accusations and the investigation is ongoing.
Patton said that he believes more than 40,000 gallons have been pumped out of his lake. The Smith County Sheriff’s Office said their environmental crimes unit is investigating the case at this time.
“We have gone through droughts before, but we’ve never had this kind of situation,” said Patton.
This act is harmful to the community and the lake itself.
“A living body like this, we have great fishing, alligators, we’ve got alligators, we’ve got beavers, all kinds of stuff,” said Patton.
KETK has reached out several times to the person who neighbors believe is responsible for removing the water from the lake, but has not heard back.
“It affects everyone in the community because the lake is private and it’s there specifically for the community to enjoy and to utilize,” said Patton.
Patton believes the pumping has stopped for now and is hopeful that this hardship brings the Enchanted Lakes Community closer together.
“Remember that your neighbor, it’s their place too, and you may share a line, and don’t be afraid to cross that line and say hi to your neighbor,” said Patton.