Water restrictions increase for Victoria residents

Melissa Crowe By Melissa Crowe

Aug. 30, 2013 at 3:30 a.m.
Updated Aug. 31, 2013 at 3:31 a.m.

Victoria officials are tightening up water use as the drought continues in South Texas.

Residents and businesses will be under Stage III restrictions of the drought plan as of Sunday, the city announced Friday.

Stage III limits not only the hours people can water but also the days and restricts complimentary glasses of water at restaurants and other activities.

Public Works Director Lynn Short said he wanted to announce the change before the Labor Day holiday, so people assigned to Sunday watering days could take care of business.

Despite the recent rainfall, Victoria and surrounding communities remain below the annual rainfall average.

The city will remain in Stage III of its Drought Contingency Plan until the flow of the Guadalupe River returns and remains above 200 cubic feet per second for 14 consecutive days.

The Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority reported Friday that the flow in Victoria was at 187 cubic feet per second.

Short said it "would be a rare occasion" for the city to enter the next stage of the drought plan.

"As long as we're able to continue doing the groundwater exchange process, I think we will be able to weather this drought," he said. "We just need to work together in these times of significant drought."

Residents are encouraged to practice water conservation at every opportunity.

Some convenient ways to conserve water include watering the lawn only when necessary. If grass has turned a dull gray-green color or if footprints remain visible, it is time to water.

Using a sprinkler that produces large drops of water rather than a fine mist will help avoid evaporation.

Another way to avoid evaporation is to turn soaker hoses so the holes are on the bottom.

Watering slowly provides better absorption, and residents should use a timer to avoid overwatering. An inch and a half of water applied once a week will keep most Texas grasses alive and healthy.

Avoid watering the street, sidewalks or driveways.

Other restrictions under Stage III include:

Irrigation of landscaped areas (including golf course greens) with hose-end sprinklers or automatic irrigation systems shall be limited to designated water days (Sundays and Thursdays for customers with even-numbered street addresses and Saturdays and Wednesdays for water customers with odd-numbered street addresses)

Irrigation of landscaped areas is also limited to 6 to 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. to midnight on designated watering days. However, irrigation of landscaped areas is permitted at anytime by means of a handheld hose equipped with a positive shutoff nozzle, handheld bucket or watering can of 5 gallons or less or drip irrigation system.

Use of water to wash any motor vehicle, motorbike, boat, trailer, airplane or other vehicle is prohibited except between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Such washing, when allowed, shall be done with a handheld bucket or handheld hose equipped with a positive shutoff nozzle.

Washing of vehicles can be done at any time at a commercial car wash or commercial service station. If the health, safety and welfare of the public depends upon frequent vehicle cleansing, such as garbage trucks and vehicles used to transport food and perishables, the washing is exempt.

Use of water to fill, refill or add to any indoor or outdoor swimming pools, wading pools or Jacuzzi-type pools is prohibited except from 6 to 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. and midnight.

Use of water from hydrants is limited to fire fighting related activities or other activities necessary to maintain public health, safety and welfare.

Use of water from designated fire hydrants for construction purposes may be allowed under special permit from the city.

Golf course tees and fairways shall not be watered unless the golf course utilizes a water source other than that provided by the city.

Ornamental fountains or pools for aesthetic or scenic purposes may not be operated except where necessary to support aquatic life or where such fountains or ponds are equipped with a recirculation system, such as the Lone Tree Creek Splash Pad.

Restaurants may not serve water to patrons except when requested.

Water may not be used to wash sidewalks, walkways, parking lots, tennis courts or other hard-surfaced areas; to wash down buildings or structures for purposes other than immediate fire protection; to control dust or to flush gutters.

Water is not permitted to run or accumulate in any gutter or street.

Controllable leaks shall be repaired within 15 days after having been given notice directing the repair of such leaks.



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