Friday morning, the City of Southlake avoided having to implement Stage II restrictions thanks in part to the efforts of residents and businesses.
“We were very pleased about this morning’s results,” said Deputy Public Works Director Chuck Kendrick. “The hope is that people will continue to decrease their water use during the weekend so that we can keep the elevated tank levels well above the minimum levels. ”
Since the implementation of Stage I, City officials have been working on immediate plans to get the City through the next several weeks without more restrictions.
“In the short term, we are asking residents businesses to partner with us and reduce consumption until the end of the summer,” said City Manager Shana Yelverton. “If we can achieve a reduction of 10% from every user, we just might make it through the summer without having to move to the next stage of restrictions. ”
The City has seen spikes in use on residential watering days which point to continuous irrigation water for more than 10-12 hours in a given day.
“We’ve seen and we’ve been told that some folks are using their systems continuously twice a day,” said Kendrick. “While technically not against the rules, that type of use and the demand spike created by it makes it difficult for the pumps to replenish the tanks for folks who are allowed to water the next day. ”
Currently, Public Works employees are monitoring the City’s systems hour by hour to ensure the most efficient use. This involves altering pump times, and watching tank levels in the elevated and ground storage tanks. This process will continue until the end of the summer.
“The summer of 2011 has put the spotlight on water use in extreme weather conditions and the need for conversations and decisions about this finite resource,” said Yelverton. “We receive as much water as we can pump from our water provider, but going forward it won’t be an unlimited amount. “
Since 2009,Southlake has added 4 1/2 million gallons per day to its capacity. This number will only increase as projects already under construction add to this total. Although the City’s water master plan has taken these types of projects into consideration, the opportunity to review that plan and possibly make changes is coming this fall as part of the Southlake 2030 plan, the City’s blueprint for the future.
“Southlake has been creating and more importantly following our master plans for decades,” said Yelverton. It’s more than just a piece of paper with words, the plan outlines the goals that the City wants to achieve. Specifically with water use and distribution,we want to evolve our plan so that it will get Southlake the water it needs in the years to come. ”