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Mayor orders water conservation measures

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Mayor Parker Orders Mandatory Water Conservation Measures

Due to persistent drought conditions and continuously decreasing water levels in Lake Houston, as of Monday, August 15, 2011, Mayor Annise Parker has mandated the implementation of the City of Houston Stage Two Water Conservation Measures in accordance with the procedures outlined in Chapter 47 in the Code of Ordinances.

During Stage Two of the conservation plan, customers are required to:

  • Repair all detectable leaks within 72 hours of discovery and
  • Limit outdoor irrigation to the hours between 8 p.m. and 10 a.m. on NO more than two days per week according to the following schedule:
    • Sundays and Thursdays for customers with even-numbered street addresses
    • Saturdays and Wednesdays for customers with odd-numbered street addresses

Failure to follow requirements may result in fines. For questions or to report a violation, please call 3-1-1.

While these restrictions are mandatory, the City of Houston will begin with warnings and an informational campaign because the goal is voluntary compliance. For those who insist on not being good neighbors, citations will follow.

The City itself will also take internal water conservation measures, such as:

  • Suspension of any scheduled window washing
  • Suspension of any scheduled power washing of buildings, sidewalks and parking areas
  • Discontinue washing city vehicles or equipment except for health, safety or critical maintenance reasons
  • Order an audit of all irrigation systems for leaks to ensure proper operation of timers and sprinkler heads.

The Public Works Department website has a Daily Water Supply Monitor and continues to encourage residents to use water wisely, which will reduce the large demand on the City’s water system. Using water wisely can not only save water, but also reduce water bills.

Ways to conserve water:

  • Keep showers under five minutes
  • Turn water off while brushing your teeth
  • Wash only full loads of dishes or clothes
  • Replace older model showerheads and faucet aerators with new low-flow models and install low water use toilets
  • Inspect toilets for silent leaks by putting food coloring in the toilet tank. If colored water leaks into the toilet bowl before flushing, water is being lost due to a worn flapper
  • Refrain from washing any vehicle or motorbike unless the dirt poses a driving hazard
  • Refrain from washing down any sidewalk, walkway, driveway, parking lot or any other hard-surfaced area
  • Refrain from filling, refilling or adding water to any indoor or outdoor swimming pool, spa or whirlpool.

http://www.publicworks.houstontx.gov/utilities/conservation.html

This is going to suck until it starts to rain again. In the meantime, now would be a good time to think some more about long term conservation matters, so that the next time this happens we’ll be better prepared for it. Because let’s be honest, this will happen again. Stace has more.

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