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Volunteers clean up Lake Ray Hubbard in Tri-City effort

ROWLETT - Lake Ray Hubbard may look gorgeous, but look at little closer, and you'll start to see the trash.

"You just wouldn't believe all the trash that we get," said Martha Brown, Rowlett Mayor Pro Temp. "We have manhole covers, fire extinguishers."

And there are a whole lot of plastic bottles and tires, too. The trash flows downstream fron Rowlett Creek, and piles up in backyards along the lakeshore.

Brown took us to the spot where she first saw the problem.

"I determined from that day forward, we were going to do something about it," she said.

Fast forward two years, and that dream is a reality. Hundreds of volunteers, some with kayaks, loaded trash bags at the lake Saturday in the first Tri-City clean up between Rowlett, Garland, and Dallas.

Some like, Jerry Gallion, are here to pay it forward, in an area ravaged by tornados in 2015.

"Paying back the people who helped me," said Gallion.

The trash in the lake becomes even more problematic when you learn the lake supplies drinking water for 2.4 million people in Dallas.

"It does not present a risk to the water that comes out of your tap, but it can complicate the process of treating the water," said James McGuire, managing director of the City of Dallas Office of Environmental Quality.

The City of Dallas owns the lake. It's collected 1.3 tons of trash from the lake in the last three weeks. And the problem will continue until people stop littering. Trash that's loose in your neighborhood can end up in the lake through the storm drain.

"One of the things we want to come out of this is just awareness that we have an issue, because it can't all be taken care of by volunteer efforts," said Brown.

Brown hopes to continue the clean up next year.