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Victoria eases watering restrictions as river level rises

By Melissa Crowe
Oct. 4, 2013 at 5:04 a.m.
Updated Oct. 5, 2013 at 5:05 a.m.


STAGE 2 RESTRICTIONS

• Irrigating landscapes with hose-end sprinklers or automatic irrigation systems is limited to 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. to midnight. Handheld hoses with a shutoff nozzle, handheld buckets or water cans of 5 gallons or less or drip irrigation systems are OK.

• Washing motor vehicles, motorbikes, boats, trailers, airplanes or other vehicles is limited to 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. Washing, when allowed, should be done with a handheld bucket or handheld hose equipped with a shutoff nozzle. Can be done anytime at a commercial car wash or commercial service station. Exempt if health, safety and welfare of the public depends on frequent vehicle cleaning.

• Filling, refilling or adding to indoor or outdoor swimming pools, wading pools or Jacuzzi-type pools limited to 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. to midnight.

Hydrants limited to firefighting-related activities or other activities necessary to maintain public health, safety and welfare, except for use of water for construction purposes allowed under special permit

Irrigating golf course greens, tee and fairways limited to 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. and midnight unless the course uses a water source other than that provided by the city.

Source: City of Victoria drought contingency plan

Water restrictions on Victoria residents dropped to the second stage of the drought plan, officials announced Friday.

Because water levels in the Guadalupe River have increased and the city has not used groundwater exchange for 14 consecutive days, the city was allowed to ease its restrictions on water use, Public Works Director Lynn Short said.

"Fortunately, the Guadalupe Basin has enjoyed some recent rainfall, which has caused the river levels to rise," Short said.

As a result of the rainfall and the city being able to draw water from the river without using groundwater exchange, the restrictions can go to Stage 2, he said.

"Hopefully, we'll be able to, at some point, be able to come out of Stage 2," Short said. "Hopefully, the river level will, over time, come back up to its normal flow. Only time will tell."

He said it depends on whether the area continues to receive rainfall as cold fronts push in from the north.

These restrictions will remain until the river's flow remains above the minimum flow rate of 150 cubic feet per second for two weeks, as set by Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

The September flow requirement was 200 cubic feet per second.

According to the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority on Friday, the Guadalupe River was flowing at a rate of 839 cubic feet per second in Victoria.

Although the Stage 3 restrictions have ended, residents are encouraged to conserve water at all times.

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