City Departments Dropping Water Use

In just a few days, the city of Wichita Falls will be asking you to turn off the tap. With a Stage 2 Drought Warning in effect even the City is doing its part to conserve water.

Many of you wanted to know how the City was cutting back. Officials told Newschannel 6 departments are reducing their water use to comply with the Stage 2 restrictions. Police and other city workers will begin enforcing the regulations on Monday, June 11th.

On Wednesday, City workers were flooded with calls about the new restrictions.  You can always find the details on the cities web site. Here's a look at the restrictions for residents and Actions that will be taken by the city.

Stage 2 Water Restrictions

•All irrigation (residential and commercial) will be reduced to once a week, Monday through Friday, based on the Water Rationing Zone Map.

•No washing vehicles unless at a commercial car wash, dealership, automotive shop or detail shop.

•Fundraising car washes are prohibited.

•Driveways, patios and sidewalks cannot be washed unless an immediate health or safety risk is present

Actions that will be taken by the City of Wichita Falls.

1. Mail a copy of the conservation Ordinance (Seen Above) and the Water Rationing Zone Map with a cover letter describing the drought conditions to each water account.

2. Form a Drought Emergency Task Force

3. Every available forum will be used to continue to educate the general public regarding the status of our water supply and to make pleas for water conservation.

4. All leaks in the raw water and treatment water system will be repaired immediately, without waiting for the most cost effective time.

5. Water pressure from the treatment plants will be reduced to the minimum to maintain 35 pounds per square inch pressure in the distribution system and to provide adequate pressure and flow for fire fighting.

6. All citizens will be encouraged to immediately alter water use habits.

7. Non-essential operational uses of water by city crews should be suspended.

8. Notify parks Department to reduce watering to once a week. Only enough water to support the trees. Parks Department will allow grass to turn brown.

9. Encourage competitive challenges between neighborhoods, sectors of the society, industries and other groups for reduction of water consumption.

10. Adopt a reduced schedule for outside uses of water for irrigation and other aesthetic purposes.

11. Notify wholesale customers of the situation and ask each to adopt similar reduction goals for their systems in accordance with their individual contracts with the City of Wichita Falls

12. Implement water conservation surcharge for excessive use.

Public Utilities Operations Manager Daniel Nix said, "The reason for the severity is to get everyone's attention and to enact the mandatory restrictions and to conserve water. We're talking about having water to drink."

One resident we spoke with said she believes she's seen the city wasting water in the past.  She said, "I've seen some examples of times they could have done much better. Some of the water running down the street when they're watering in between the streets and things like that. I really cant say I've noticed a whole lot of it but we all need to do our part."

If you want to report anyone, resident, business or city worker abusing their water privileges you can call the Water Restrictions Hotline at (940) 761-7477.

Wichita Falls Parks Director Jack Murphy says they're using drip irrigation systems like soaker hoses to keep the cities 26,000 trees and 208 flower beds alive. Under the new restrictions they'll only use spray irrigation once a week, just like everyone else. Other residents we spoke with, thought the restrictions were actually overdue.

"I think they're long overdue I've been worried about the water crisis since last year and the year before."

Jack Lamson, Newschannel 6