Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Water Restrictions in Southlake: What do they mean?

The summer heat takes a toll on all of us, especially our landscaping. While we can go inside to the air conditioning to escape the heat, there’s not much our landscaping can do.

It’s tempting to water more to help the yard survive the heat. You can water more, as long as you follow the watering schedule. Maintaining a consistent watering schedule can go a long way to helping the yard survive the summer.

The City adopted a watering schedule under the current Water Conservation Plan. The watering schedule allows for homes and businesses to water twice a week on designated days between the hours of 6 p.m. and 10 a.m. It’s against City ordinance to water outside of the watering schedule.

Adhering to the watering schedule helps the City maintain water resources for residents. When it is observed that the watering schedule is not being followed Southlake Code Enforcement will issue two warnings before a citation is issued. A warning can be issued for watering on a wrong day, watering at the wrong time, and for wasting water by over-irrigating.

What if you see that someone isn’t following the watering schedule? Give us a call or contact us on the “Come Fix This!” form. We’ll work with them to help resolve the issue. You can reach us at (817) 748-8654.

What about the City, don’t we have to follow the watering schedule? Yes, the City also adheres to the watering schedule. However, many times when you do see the City watering during off times, typically at parks, the irrigation systems are using well water or water pumped from the lakes.

The City conducts annual field maintenance during the summer when there is limited athletic field activity. First, the City closes the field and then lays new seed.  Then, the fields are watered three times per day to ensure optimal growth and that the seed doesn’t dry out. Fields are typically watered in the morning, afternoon and evening for about a week and then they return to the regular City watering schedule.

If you have any questions about watering restrictions or aren’t sure about when you can water, please give us a call at (817) 748-8266. We are happy to help.

Lawn Care Tips During Drought and Water Restrictions

Christi Upton Contact infoWinter 2013-2014 took a toll on Southlake lawns.  The beautiful St. Augustine lawns that many residents have faced moderate to severe damage due to the plunging temperatures. As warmer temperatures returned and because of the occasional rainfall received, most of the lawns that sustained minor damage are recovering. 

So what about the lawns that were severely damaged? Is there hope for recovery? Our Environmental Coordinator, Christi Upton says, “Yes! There is.”

Lawns that were severely damaged WILL recover. However, the recovery will take a little longer and will require a little more TLC than the occasional rainfall will provide.

We asked Christi to provide residents with some tips that will help your lawn’s path to recovery and revitalization and to survive through drought conditions.

Amend Your Soil

Amending the soil, which is mixing materials into the soil, will improve water retention, permeability, water infiltration, drainage, aeration and structure. The goal is to provide a better environment for roots.

Amending the soil, even if the lawn is severely damaged, is always preferable to replacing your lawn. In fact, now is not the time to replace a lawn because of the persistent drought and City’s water restrictions. Lawn replacement requires too much water during a time when we have been asked to cut back on irrigation and to ensure we maintain the water supply for drinking, cooking, bathing, toilet flushing, firefighting and all the many other needs.  Amending the soil works well with the twice-a-week watering and provides plenty of water to help a severely damaged lawn recover.

Irrigation Evaluation

To keep lawns and landscapes looking good during drought and water restrictions, irrigation systems must work as efficiently as possible so all water applied will benefit the landscape. If your irrigation system is not working properly, no matter how much you water, the landscape suffers and water is wasted. The City of Southlake offers free irrigation evaluation to identify ways to increase irrigation efficiency from making repairs to setting the controller. Sign up for a free irrigation evaluation through the  WISE Guys.

Cycle and Soak Irrigation Method

Once your irrigation system is working efficiently, another water saving tip is to apply water in several short cycles instead of all at once. This method of irrigation is called cycle and soak. Most irrigation controllers have the ability to set the cycle and soak configuration.  To learn more about landscape watering and the cycle and soak method,  see the City’s Lawn Watering Tips webpage.

Judge Irrigation Requirements in the Morning

Pay close attention to how your lawn looks in the morning versus the afternoon versus the evening.  High afternoon summer temperatures cause plants to wilt, look off color, drop leaves and/or shrink even if there is significant moisture in the soil. Once the sun sets, the lawn and plants look normal. Irrigation will only be required if your lawn looks wilted and off color in the morning.  If in doubt, use a long screw driver to test for moisture in the soil. Push the screw driver into the soil (like a toothpick into a cake) to see how much moisture is in the soil. The screwdriver will push easily into moist soil and will not push easily into dry soil.

Mow Lawn Higher

Another water saving tip is to mow the lawn higher. Move the mower cutting height up one or two settings. The taller lawn shades the soil which reduces evaporation and encourages longer roots.

Mulch All Planted Areas

Mulch is like icing on a cake because mulch keeps the soil moist the same way icing keeps a cake moist. Mulch slows evaporation of water from the soil, allows water to infiltrate the soil efficiently; moderates the soil temperature; and breaks down into nutrients for the plants. Maintain a 2 to 4 inch mulch layer in all planted beds and containers.

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For more information about water saving practices, visit the  Water Conservation page on the City of Southlake website.

Or you can visit the Texas A&M AgriLife web site at http://dallas.tamu.edu for water conserving information.

Twice-A-Week Landscape Watering is Now Permanent in Southlake

lawn-sprinklerOn April 15, 2014 the Southlake City Council voted to approve the 2014 Water Conservation Plan, which makes twice per week landscape watering permanent in Southlake.

State law requires that cities larger than 3,300 adopt a Water Conservation Plan and Drought Contingency Plan and submit them to the Texas Water Development Board every five years. At the request of the Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD), the City of Fort Worth has added a maximum of twice per week landscape watering to their water conservation plan and requires wholesale customer cities, including Southlake, to adopt the same measures.

Public Works Director Bob Price notes, “Chapter 288 of the Texas Administrative Code requires that as a wholesale water customer of the City of Fort Worth we share the conservation measures imposed by their plan and that our plan meets or exceeds the measures of their plan.”

Under the 2014 Water Conservation Plan, residential addresses ending in an even number (0, 2, 4, 6, or 8) can water on Wednesdays and Saturdays, residential addresses ending in an odd number (1, 3, 5, 7, or 9) can water on Thursdays and Sundays. Non-residential locations such as apartment complexes, businesses and parks may water on Tuesdays and Fridays. No watering is permitted on Mondays.

Other measures under the 2014 Water Conservation Plan prohibit the following:

  • Allowing substantial amounts of water to fall on impervious areas instead of landscape. For example, a constant stream of water overflows from the lawn or landscape onto a street or other drainage area.
  • Operating an irrigation system or watering device during any form of precipitation.

Measures from the 2009 Water Conservation Plan require new irrigation systems have rain and freeze sensors, that they not be operated with broken heads allowing waste, and that they not be operated between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. remain in effect in the 2014 Plan.

Watering by hand-held hose, drip irrigation, tree bubbler, or soaker hose is allowed at any time although residents are encouraged to limit such watering to a maximum of two hours per day.

“Currently, the City remains under Stage 1 of the Drought Contingency Plan, which sets several guidelines for water use when levels fall below a specified threshold,” Price says. “However under the 2014 Water Conservation Plan, even if the lake levels rise from their current level of roughly 70% to full capacity, the twice per week watering will remain in effect.”

The City of Southlake has been under Stage 1 Drought Contingency since June of 2013 and remains under Stage 1 due to continuing drought conditions (see map below).

Measures under Stage 1 of the Drought Contingency Plan include the following:

  • Vehicle washing is limited to the use of hand-held buckets and a hose with a positive shutoff valve. Vehicles may be washed at any time at a carwash.
  • Encouraging no hosing of buildings, windows, or other structures for any purpose other than fire protection.
  • Encouraging no hosing of paved areas, such as sidewalks, driveways, parking lots, etc.
  • Encouraging hotels, restaurants and bars to serve water only upon request.
  • Establishing new turf is discouraged, and a variance is required to do so.

For more details about Southlake’s 2014 Water Conservation Plan, Stage 1 of the Drought Contingency Plan and water restrictions, please visit CityofSouthlake.com/WaterConservation.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Stage 1 Water Restrictions Implemented June 3rd

The City of Southlake is implementing Stage 1 water restrictions effective Monday, June 3 at the direction of the Fort Worth Water Department and the Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD).  The water restrictions are necessary because of low water supply levels. Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD), who supplies  raw water to Fort Worth for purification and sale to water customers expects the area lakes to reach the trigger – 75 percent level of available water supply – by then. The current level is 76 percent.

Unfortunately, we have not seen the normal spring and fall rainfall in our watersheds. This is the 4th driest spring on record, and we need 6-9” to get back to normal going into summer. TRWD anticipates we will remain in Stage 1 through at least this fall.

The primary focus of Stage 1 actions is to significantly reduce outdoor watering, which can account for as much as 50 percent of the daily residential water used during the summer.

Stage 1 limits outdoor watering with an irrigation system or hose-end sprinkler to a maximum of two assigned days per week for all customers. Residential customers whose addresses end in odd numbers (1, 3, 5, 7 or 9) are permitted to water lawn and landscapes only on Sundays and Thursdays. Addresses ending in even numbers (2, 4, 6, 8 or 0) may water on Saturdays and Wednesdays only.  Non-residential addresses including businesses, HOAs, parks, and medians can water only on Tuesday and Fridays. No watering is allowed on Mondays.

The time of day restriction, which prohibits outdoor watering with sprinklers between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., continues to be in effect.

Watering by hand-held hose, drip irrigation or soaker hose is allowed at any time. Residents are encouraged to limit such watering to a maximum of two hours per day.

Other Stage 1 measures include the following.

  • Vehicle washing is limited to the use of hand-held buckets and a hose with a positive shutoff valve. Vehicles may be washed at any time at a carwash.
  • No hosing of buildings or other structures for purposes other than fire protection.
  • Encouraging no hosing of paved areas, such as sidewalks, driveways, parking lots, etc.
  • Encouraging hotels, restaurants and bars to serve water only upon request.
  • Establishing new turf is discouraged, and a variance is required to do so.

Water conservation is necessary to provide a continued water supply over the coming years. Join us in protecting our water resources.

For more information, visit CityofSouthlake.com/WaterConservation.

Stage 1 Water Restrictions Likely in Near Future

The Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD) has informed the City of Southlake that due to the dry weather conditions in the North Texas Region, residents in the area may again face Stage 1 water restrictions in early 2013. “Water conservation efforts in North Texas are very important as we deal with two important issues, drought and increased use of our water resources in this area,” says City of Southlake’s Public Works Director, Bob Price. Southlake purchases its water supply from the City of Fort Worth who in turn purchases its water from TRWD.

The current water reservoirs are at 77% capacity and are declining about 1% every two weeks. Stage 1 drought measures are triggered when the reservoir reaches 75% which is expected to happen around mid-January without any measurable rainfall.  Currently, more than 87% of Texas is experiencing moderate to extreme drought conditions, and 2012 is shaping up to be the warmest year on record in Texas. October-November ranks as the second driest on record in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. According to TRWD, The lack of rain and higher temperatures once again are taking their toll on the reservoirs.

The goal of Stage 1 restrictions is to reduce water by at least 5% over what is normally used.  Earlier this year, the City of Southlake entered Stage 1 water restrictions at the end of July as a result of high temperatures and heavy water consumption.  The restrictions ended at the end of September.

If current weather patterns continue, and the lake levels falls below 75%, TRWD could implement restrictions in early 2013. The Stage 1 measures consist of:

  • Limiting outdoor watering with hose-end sprinklers and automatic irrigation systems to no more than twice per week at each service address.
  • No outdoor watering with hose-end sprinklers and outdoor irrigation systems between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. (Please note that irrigating between these hours is not allowed at any time)
  • Prohibiting non-essential water use, such as hosing of paved areas, hosing of buildings except for fire protection and surface preparation, and using water in a manner that allows runoff.
  • Watering by hand or using soaker hoses or drip irrigation is allowed any time, and day of the week.

For more information about the Tarrant Regional Water District, please visit www.trwd.com