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City of Kirksville lowers water level at Hazel Creek Lake

The lake is one of Kirksville's primary sources of drinking water. (KTVO File)

Water levels at one northeast Missouri lake are dropping.

Kirksville Public Works Director Glenn Balliew said the city is intentionally lowering water at Hazel Creek Lake north of Kirksville.

That lake is one of Kirksville's primary sources of drinking water.

Balliew said water is being lowered to help kill off the American Lotus Plant (lily pads).

It is an invasive plant that has wreaked havoc for recreation enthusiasts.

City staffers say that although the plant is a food source for waterfowl, it causes issues with movement throughout the lake.

Balliew said work started on Wednesday to drop water levels.

He said the plan is to lower it by a total of six feet.

Balliew added that research shows dropping water levels and freezing the vegetation's root system has helped kill the plant in other areas.

While the water is low, city personnel also hope to repair boat ramps at Hazel Creek Lake.

Balliew reassures residents that the lake is not going dry, and its dam has not broken.

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