Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Denton County cities in cautious mode with water
Lewisville and Flower Mound have implemented Stage 1 water restrictions.
Lewisville and Flower Mound have enough water to go around, but statistics show how much the hot summer has created a demand for it.
Carol Bassinger, public services director, said the average water usage in July was 26.7 million gallons per day (mgd). The average so far in August is 28 mgd. She said typically, the peak water usage day occurs in August.
"Some days in July, the usage shot up to 27 mgd, but the all-time high so far was 29.89 mgd on Aug. 5," Bassinger said. "Usually between Aug. 3 to 9 is when we'll get our all-time high usage."
As a result of the Aug. 5 usage, the city put out a "code red" message to all residents, urging them to ease up on water usage.
"Since the code red, water usage has been hovering around 28.4 mgd," Bassinger said. "This summer our residents have responded, but when the usage hit that day, we had to make a change."
Bassinger said water usage has been higher than other summers.
"Water usage has been higher quicker, and we've sustained that," Bassinger said.
Lewisville got a brief reprieve on Saturday. Bassinger said water usage dropped by about four million gallons because of the rain. Lewisville received 1.1 inches of rain.
"Irrigation is our biggest nemesis in the summer, so the rain helped us out," Bassinger said.
Water usage begins to taper off in September, Bassinger said.
Flower Mound Town Manager Harlan Jefferson said that the town's water demand in July 2006 peaked at 29.3 million gallons per day (mgd) and that the town surpassed that five times this July. He said the average demand for this July was 27.4 mgd.
Jefferson said so far this month, Flower Mound has surpassed that 29.3 mgd mark 10 times and that the average in August is 29.2 mgd with a peak of 31 mgd.
"Our system has responded extremely well to the demands we've put on the system," Jefferson said. "And we know it will perform even better in the future once we complete the western elevated storage tank, as well as a few other missing links."
The storage tank, which is set to hold 2.5 million gallons of water, should be complete by January 2013 and will be located on Freeman Road near FM 1171 in west Flower Mound.
Still, Lewisville and Flower Mound have implemented Stage 1 water restrictions. Stage 1 is a voluntary stage, which asks residents to only water on the days that they have regularly scheduled trash pick-up. If necessary, designated hours for watering may also be requested between 5 a.m. to 9 a.m., and 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. All water customers are requested to refrain from outdoor watering on Sundays.
"The last time we went past stage 1 was in 2002," Bassinger said. "The lake is only 3.8 feet low, but our system can only deliver so much. As long as residents comply with stage 1, we won't have problems. We won't let ourselves get into a situation like Kemp."
Flower Mound officials also seemed confident that they city could provide enough water to its residents.
"We can meet the demand for our water," Jefferson said. "We put the measures in place primarily to prevent having to go to mandatory restrictions."
Highland Village implemented Stage 2 water conservation measures July 29. Stage 2 prohibits outside watering on Fridays and Mondays. The city also temporarily suspended watering at homeowners associations and city parks. But on Friday, the city restored those water services, though it has voluntarily stopped watering open green spaces.
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