On Thursday, the level of Lake Nocona dropped to 817 feet, which triggers stage five water restrictions in the city of Nocona.
Good news is, residents and business owners have four days before the new rules are enforced and they're not much different than stage four restrictions.
"The main thing is that there's no wasteful water usage. Car washes officially have to close twice a week," said Bob Ferguson, a Nocona city council member.
Restaurants, bars and cafeterias won't be allowed to thaw food with water. However, residents will still be able to water only with a hand held hose between midnight and 10a.m. Ferguson said, even though the lake has lost a little more than half of its capacity, now is not the time to panic.
"We're not going to run out of water. We're not going to let the city run out of water. We have opportunities and possibilities for other things,"said Ferguson.
In fact, the city is now officially looking for a location to drill more water wells. The one the city drilled last year cost almost $300,000 but the city has some funds available.
Ferguson said, "We have diverted funds that we had for a grant on a water line project from the lake. We've decided to go ahead and divert those funds to drill new wells."
The city's current well pumps 300 gallons of water per minute but council members said, the city needs more. They're hoping to drill two more in the northern or southern part of town.
Violators of the restrictions face up to $2,000 in fines a day and repeat offenders can have water service discontinued.
Here's a complete list of the restrictions:
All requirements of stage 1, 2, 3, & 4 shall remain in effect during stage 5. Under threat of penalty for violation, the following water use restrictions shall also apply to all persons:
(A) All non-essential water use is prohibited
(1) definition of non-essential water use is as defined:
- all self-serve and full-service carwashes within the corporate city limits will be required to close the car washing portion of their business on Monday and Tuesday of each week
- It shall be unlawful for a car dealer to wash its inventory of cars on any day other than the day the property is authorized to spray irrigate.
- It shall be unlawful for a food establishment to thaw food with water. Food must be thawed by another method that is approved by the health Code, i.e. refrigeration or cooking process.
- It shall be unlawful to operate a water feature on a residential pool or on property, including, but not limited to, fountains, water falls, descents, arcs, and slides.
- If repairing a pool, it shall only be drained to a level necessary to affect the repair, and no further. An owner/operator of a pool who follows this restriction will be allowed to re-fill the pool after the repair.
- it shall be unlawful to hand watering in any but the following hours:
12:00 midnight to 10:00 a.m. & 8:00 p.m. to 12:00 midnight
- It shall be unlawful to operate a soaker hose, bubbler or drip irrigation system in a manner that causes water to run down the curb or into the road.
- Irrigation of landscaped areas with hose-end sprinklers or automatic irrigation systems shall be limited to Tuesday for water customers with a street address ending in an even number (0,2,4,6,8) and Thursday for water customers with a street address ending in an odd numbered (1,3,5,7,9); and, further, irrigation of landscaped areas may occur only between the hours of 12:00 midnight to 10:00 a.m. & 8:00 p.m. to 12:00 midnight.
- The use for washing sidewalks, driveways, parking areas, streets, tennis courts, patios, or other paved areas, except to alleviate immediate health or fire hazards, is prohibited.
(2) Water used for irrigation from private wells, aerobic septic systems, wastewater effluent or other non-potable water will be exempt from all drought-related restrictions but must comply with all other city, state and federal regulations.
(a) All private wells, aerobic septic systems, wastewater effluent or other non-potable water will be registered with the City of Nocona and will have a sign put in yard stating what system is being used.
(b) No Bulk water sells