Saturday, May 15, 2021

Recent Rains Help, But Stage 1 Restrictions Still in Place

Although the recent rains have helped ease some of the effects the drought, Stage 1 water restrictions are still in effect for Southlake and most of Tarrant County.

As a result, City staff will begin to ease off self-imposed watering restrictions on several public and private construction projects.  The voluntary ban on these projects was put into place after the City entered Stage 1 watering restrictions, and the region endured day after day of triple-digit temperatures coupled with severe drought conditions.

“After carefully assessing the condition of Southlake’s water distribution system, we’ve determined that it is no longer good policy to completely restrict construction project watering in Southlake,” stated Southlake’s Deputy Director of Public Works, Gordon Mayer.  “Given the current weather changes, it makes sense to allow some private and public construction projects to resume watering on a case-by-case-basis.”

Construction project watering is allowed under Stage 1 water restrictions, but when the City of Southlake entered Stage 1 restrictions in July, the City restricted construction watering in Southlake as part of a larger water conservation strategy.

“The City is committed to upholding the integrity of the Stage 1 drought contingency ordinance and its intent by evaluating the water need of individual construction projects in a review process,” said Mayer.

The review process was headed by Mayer and Assistant City Manager, Ben Thatcher, and is similar to the process that construction applicants must follow when requesting water for construction.

Currently, construction watering has been approved at the following projects:

Capital Improvement Projects

  • Kimball Avenue- Subgrade preparation and dust control – the minimize impact on neighborhoods
  • Kirkwood Boulevard- New sod and landscaping, project cleanup
  • Neighborhood Sewer- New and replacement sod, project cleanup
  • FM 1709 20” Water  Connect new water line segments (Must be done during lower peak demand period so that distribution is not affected)
  • North Park Construction- water and dust control, new sod and landscaping

TxDOT Project

  • FM 1709 Medians-New sod and landscaping

Private Development Projects

  • Carillon Subdivision- New and replacement sod
  • Carroll Middle School- New sod and landscaping
  • Walnut Grove School- New sod and landscaping
  • Johnson Elem School- New sod and landscaping
  • First Financial Bank- New sod off-site area
  • Chelsea Park- Construction water and dust control
  • Kimball Circle Estate- Construction water and dust control

Public or private projects without irrigation systems will use water trucks to water sod during the work day; projects with irrigation systems will be allowed to use the system except between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. as prescribed by the ordinance.

The City of Southlake implemented Stage 1 water restrictions in late July after a lack of rainfall and temperatures in excess of 100 degrees led to a spike in water usage that dropped the water levels of three elevated water towers below 18’ for three consecutive days. Mandatory, region-wide Stage 1 water restrictions were later implemented by the Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD) on September 3.

Although cooler temperatures and recent rainfall have helped water consumption in Southlake drop from 20-22 million gallons per day to an estimated 15 million gallons per day, Stage 1 water restrictions are expected to stay in place throughout the fall and winter months until rainfall replenishes TWRD’s low reservoir levels.

For more information on the City’s construction projects, please visit call (817) 748-8098.