Henrietta: Drought Forces Early Pool Closure

Henrietta: Drought Forces Early Pool Closure

During operating hours, Henrietta's community pool has been bustling with a record amount of pool goers this summer.

But in August, residents will have to find another place to cool down from the heat. Normally the city keeps the pool open until the weekend before school starts but with no drought relief in sight, City Manager Kelly Bloodworth has decided to shut down operations ahead of time. Henrietta residents, especially kids weren't happy when they heard the news.

"I really wish it wouldn't because it's the only thing that keeps me and my friends intact," said a little girl who loves going to the community pool.

Another resident questioned the decision. He said "I don't know why they couldn't keep it open until school starts which would be three more weeks I think from the time they close. But anyway I'm sure they know what they're doing."

Bloodworth said there is a good reason for the decision. Once Lake Arrowhead levels drop to 30%, Henrietta will go into stage four water restrictions. One of the new restrictions that will be triggered prohibits residents from filling up privately owned pools.

"We just feel like it's fair if we ask the citizens not to fill their pool that we don't fill our pool either and we will be closing it. August 2nd will be the last day that we operate it," said Bloodworth.

The city manager said even though triggering stage four is inevitable at this point, the residents have been doing a good job at conserving water. In fact, last month the city conserved 2 million gallons of water less than they did at the same time last year.

These will be Henrietta's Stage 4 regulations:

All outdoor irrigation by hose-end sprinklers, automatic sprinkler system, soaker hoses, or drip irrigation is prohibited at all times. Irrigation of landscaped areas shall be limited to designated days (residences with odd numbered address may water on odd numbered days, and even on even numbered days) and shall be by means of hand-held hoses or hand-held buckets only.  Between the hours of 12:00 midnight to 10:00 a.m. & 6:00 p.m. to 12:00 midnight on your designated day.

Use of water to wash any motor vehicle, motorbike, boat, trailer, airplane, or other is prohibited at all times. Exemptions:  For Commercial businesses that use water to maintain (but not expand) their primary business practices (e.g., commercial car and truck washes, nurseries, turf growers, water haulers, concrete pavers, etc.)

The filling, refilling or adding of potable water to privately owned swimming, wading, and jacuzzi-type pools is prohibited.

The use of water for washing sidewalks, driveways, parking areas, streets, tennis courts, patios or other paved areas, except to alleviate immediate health or fire hazards is prohibited.

The washing of dwellings, office buildings, business and or industrial equipment or machinery, and the use of water for the operation of any ornamental water fountains is prohibited; and

Knowingly permitting the escape of water through defective plumbing is prohibited.

Tanya De Jesus, Newschannel 6