TEXAS TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A plan to pump water out of two flooding lakes southwest of Kalamazoo has been approved and a timetable is in place.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality issued a permit for the pumping on Crooked and Eagle lakes, Texas Township announced Friday. Officials estimate it will be late May before pumping begins.

The lake levels have been rising for more than a year, leading to flooding in surrounding homes. The lake doesn’t have a natural outlet, so residents wanted to start pumping the water out and into nearby Bass Lake. The process was slowed by environmental concerns — the DEQ wanted to look into how it would affect the wildlife — and worries about properties downstream.

The township is now awaiting the completion of a special filter to start pumping. It’s expected to be delivered May 20 and installed within the following couple of days. An excavation contractor is ready to start putting in piping for the pump. That will start as soon as frost restrictions are lifted, probably in mid-April.

The next public hearing on flooding issues is scheduled for 6 p.m. April 22 in the lecture all of the new admissions wing at Kalamazoo Valley Community College.