North Lake is located about two miles southeast of Coppell in northwest Dallas County, on the South Fork of Grapevine Creek, a tributary of the Trinity River. The dam was operated by the Dallas Power and Light Company as a cooling reservoir for an electric generating plant and for recreational purpose.
Construction on North Lake Dam began in 1956 and the dam was complete in August 1957. North Lake has an embankment dam, a compacted earth-fill structure with a spillway elevation of 510 feet above mean sea level, which overflows to a chute spillway. In 1992 North Lake had a conservation storage capacity of 17,000 acre-feet and a conservation surface area of 800 acres. The drainage area above the dam was three square miles.
North Lake is nestled neatly between the sprawling suburbs in northwest Dallas County. “Like much of Dallas, North lake is artificial, its history is short, and it exists because of the energy business.” (Garrison, 2007). As with most urban lakes, swimming is not allowed, but it is a popular fishing location. When first built, the lake was unable to keep fish because of low nutrient levels, however in the 1970’s, Dallas Parks and Recreation Department fertilized the waters and stocked the lake with Bass. Today the lake remains an unsightly location in Dallas, with high-capacity power lines and large generation units along the northeastern shore, but never-the-less it brings something special to surrounding residential homes.