Saturday, August 17, 2019

Get on Board with Southlake’s Water Conservation Efforts

The hot summer temperatures are here and with them have come increased water use by City residents and businesses.   Although Stage 1 water restrictions have been suspended, landscape watering with City water is still prohibited from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

“If we find properties that are watering during restricted hours, we will issue a warning and if a violation persists a citation may be issued.  However, it is our hope that through education efforts and other communication means such as the City’s website that  residents and businesses understand the watering schedule and the number of warnings and citations issued should be minimal, ” said Planning and Development Services Director Ken Baker.

Baker also serves as the City’s Water Enforcement administrator.  “Since the end of last year’s triple digit temperatures we have been working on the City’s water conservation and education strategy.  Instead of door hangers, we will place small signs (see below) in people’s yards to warn them that they are in violation of the ordinance.  A resident or business will receive two warnings from the City prior to a citation being issued.”

The City’s Public Works department is charged with keeping an eye on the City’s water supply.  Director Bob Price says there is still a chance that Southlake could see Stage 1 restrictions this summer.   “The easiest way to keep your landscaping at its best is to get it used to a specific schedule and stick with it.”

The best time to water is in the early morning hours (Midnight – 4:00 a.m.) so water has the chance to soak into the soil. 

“Watering during these hours is not only best for the plants, it also allows the City’s elevated storage tanks plenty of time to refill before the  morning rush,” said Price.

The “morning rush” Price is referring to is the use pattern that most residents and businesses observe between 6:00 and 9:00 a.m.

“Most people are showering, getting in that quick load of laundry and often times watering their lawn,” Price added.  “If we could cut down on the number of homes and businesses that water during peak hours it would help keep our water tank levels consistent.”

Last July in the midst of the triple digit heat, Southlake went into Stage 1 restrictions because water levels in the City’s three elevated storage tanks dipped below 18-feet, three days in a row.  When that
happens, the City is required by ordinance to impose water restrictions.

“We came very close to not having enough water to fight fires last summer,” said Price.  “Although the new 20-inch water line is in service and it should help with water distribution, when the temperatures rise and the tanks get low, we need to remember to conserve.”

On CityofSouthlake.com, the City has published lawn watering tips, and how to contact the W.I.S.E. Guys for home and business water system evaluations.  “We have seen great success from people taking advantage of our watering tips and the W.I.S.E. Guys,” said Environmental Coordinator Christi Upton.  “The W.I.S.E. Guys evaluations help manage water waste and your water bills.”

For tips and how to conduct an irrigation evaluation, please visit www.CityofSouthlake.com/WaterConservation.

This story also appeared in print form in the Southlake Journal.