Lake Tuscaloosa was completed in 1970 and is the primary source of drinking water for the Tuscaloosa metropolitan area. The lake was created by damming the North River and is 5885 acres in size. 40 billion gallons of water provides the area with a valuable recreation, industrial and human needs resource.
The lake's landscape features iconic southern pines and rolling hills which create long stretches of scenic overlooks and cozy, shaded inlets.
Lake Tuscaloosa is renowned in the area for its year-round fishing and boating culture.
Lake Nicol was completed in 1956 and serves as a backup for Lake Tuscaloosa. It is 384 acres in size, has a spillway elevation of 285.2 feet and holds approximately 3.3 billion gallons of water.
In addition to canoeing and swimming, Lake Nicol boasts a well-maintained park and is popular with bird watchers for its wild diversity of pine birds, songbirds, waterfowl and seasonal migrant birds. Its tall lakeside cliffs offer visitors wide, sweeping views from several sides of the lake.
Lake Nicol is listed in several outdoor publications as one of the southeast's must-see destination for the bird watching community.
Harris Lake, was completed in 1929 and serves the Tuscaloosa area as a source for industrial water use and hydroelectric power generation. The lake is 220 acres in size and holds approximately 1 billion gallons of water.
The Water Works Lakes Division works to provide the City of Tuscaloosa with a reliable source and supply of raw water and to maintain the City's three reservoirs.
The primary function of this division is maintaining the three lakes as a safe recreational area and as a source of raw water for treatment. This division also handles the issuance and inspection of several permits: dredging, tree removal, building and removal of any structures on City of Tuscaloosa property that is adjacent to Lake Tuscaloosa, Lake Nicol or Harris Lake. Other daily tasks involve maintaining the grass and vegetation around the lakes, removing and disposing of debris (logs, trash, dead animals) from the lakes, and placing regulatory buoys and safety signs around the water. They also maintain the water intake structures and tunnels, assist with accidents on the lake, and respond to spills on or near the water.
The City of Tuscaloosa is fortunate to have three excellent sources of raw water. It is our division goal to ensure that the City Of Tuscaloosa will always have a good source and supply of raw water.