Richardson City Council Amends Emergency Water Management Plan
Changes impact Stage 2 water conservation efforts set to take effect August 19, 2011.
(Richardson, TX) – The Richardson City Council has amended the City’s Emergency Water Management Plan, changing the schedule for water use and setting a new target conservation level. The amended plan was unanimously approved during this week’s, August 8, 2011, City Council meeting.
The most immediate impact the new plan will have will be on Stage 2 water conservation efforts set to go into effect on August 19, 2011. The plan allows for twice per week watering based on address on a particular day of the week (see below for details). The new Stage 2 measure also targets a 5 percent reduction in water consumption as compared to 2 percent targeted in the old ordinance.
The plan’s Stage 3 water conservation plan was also changed to allow just one day per week watering instead of two. The target conservation level for Stage 3 was also increased to 10 percent from 5 percent.
On August 19, the City of Richardson will implement Stage 2 of its Emergency Water Management Plan. Implementation of the plan comes at the request of the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD), which supplies water to the City of Richardson.
Stage 2 conservation implements mandatory restrictions on water usage. Residents wishing to find out more can visit the City’s website at www.cor.net to find direct links for information or to report water restriction violations. Residents can also call 972-744-4111 for information or to report a violation.
Beginning August 19, the City’s Community Services Department will have inspectors on duty 18 hours a day, seven days a week to enforce Stage 2 watering restrictions. Anyone who receives a citation will not be required to appear in court, as is the custom with all other code citations. Instead, a defendant may elect to plead guilty and pay a window fine of:
- First offense – $150
- Second offense – $350
- Third offense – $1,500
If a citation is written as an “aggravated offense,” the defendant is required to appear before a municipal court judge to have the case resolved. Violators could see an up to $2,000 fine for failing to follow water conservation measures.
Mandatory water conservation measures to go into effect are as follows:
- Begin mandatory water use restrictions limiting all landscape and other outdoor water usage at each service address to two days per week as indicated below:
- Last digit of address allowed landscape watering days
- 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 (odd) Wednesday and Sunday
- 0, 2, 4, 6, 8 (even) Tuesday and Saturday
Hourly time water use restrictions may be imposed if warranted by current peak usage and/or pumping conditions. The lowest physical street address number will identify apartments, office building complexes or other property containing multiple addresses. If there is no street address number, a number will be assigned by the director of public services.
Water usage during Stage 2. Water usage during Stage 2 shall be subject to the following:
- Reduce consumption by no less than five percent as compared to the same water usage of the prior year and in the same month.
- Newly constructed swimming pools, Jacuzzis, and spas may be filled once.
- Refilling after draining private swimming pools, Jacuzzis, or spas is prohibited without specific authorization from the director of public services.
- Excessive water runoff from any landscaped area onto impervious surfaces is prohibited.
- The washing or hosing down of buildings, sidewalks, driveways, patios, porches, parking areas or other paved surfaces is permitted while using a hose with a shutoff nozzle.
- The washing or rinsing of vehicles, boats, trailers, other mobile vehicles and equipment on owner’s premises must follow the allowed landscape water days schedule. A hand-held hose equipped with a positive shutoff nozzle, and/or hand-held bucket shall be used.
- No washing of vehicles shall be allowed without the use of an automatic shutoff nozzle.
- No outdoor watering between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. or during any periods of any precipitation (rain, snow, sleet, etc.).
Exemptions. The following water usage is exempt from Stage 2 restrictions:
- Drip irrigation systems and soaker hoses used to keep foundations moist, except hourly limitations may apply.
- The watering of newly installed landscaping until the roots are established. Once established, the allowed landscape water days schedule must be followed.
- Commercial full-service or self-service car wash facilities, including those at service stations and automobile dealership facilities.
- Golf course landscape watering. Voluntary cutback and/or rescheduling will be requested through personal contact by the director of public services.
- Activities utilizing wastewater effluent, natural water springs, ponds or water wells.
To meet public health and safety needs and to help maintain overall water pressure, the City of Richardson will have certain facilities that must water outside the publicly mandated water restriction times. Such facilities include athletic and recreation facilities used by the public for a variety of purposes. Newly planted landscaping will also be maintained, but will follow the water restrictions in place for new landscaping that all other residents or businesses must follow.
“It’s much harder for the City to follow a two-day-per-week watering schedule than it is for the individual business or homeowner,” said Richardson Parks and Recreation Director Michael Massey. “We literally have thousands of sprinkler zones across the city that can’t be operational at the same time. So we will implement a watering strategy that will run outside of what most residents are doing, but will still attain our conservation goals and help our community maintain healthy facilities for athletic and recreational use.”
Though some City facilities will be watered outside times dictated by the ordinance, the City will maintain watering schedules that will meet or exceed conservation efforts. Other large public and private water users will also have variances for water usage, and will be monitored according to the guidelines in the variances for which they apply. Variances are also available by request for residents, businesses and other entities by contacting the City’s Public Services Department at972-744-4220.
The NTMWD initiated Stage 2 of the NTMWD Water Conservation and Drought Contingency and Water Emergency Response Plan as a result of the temporary loss of 22.5 percent of the Lake Texoma raw water supply due to invasive zebra mussels, the continued drought conditions with NTMWD’s Lake Chapman water supply capacity at 47 percent and peak water usage of 554 million gallons per day. The NTMWD put its Stage 2 plan into effect August 1, 2011.
Since Lake Texoma represents almost a quarter of the North Texas raw water supply, NTMWD continues to work with all state and federal agencies involved to safely restore the Texoma water supply while minimizing the transfer of zebra mussels into Lake Lavon and the Trinity River Basin. Although zebra mussels are not harmful to humans and do not contaminate the water, they do attach to water facilities and pipes that pump water causing increased operating and maintenance costs.
Extending the NTMWD’s water supply during Stage 2 through the efficient use of existing water resources is crucial to meeting the long-term water needs of the NTMWD’s Member Cities and Customers.
More information and tips on water conservation can be found on the City’s Water Conservation website available on the City’s homepage at www.cor.net. The site can also be accessed by using the QR code provided below. Further information is also available at www.wateriq.org andwww.ntmwd.com.