Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Plano alters water restriction hours to avoid freezing
The new hours are in effect until March 1.
PLANO Plano remains in Stage 2 water restrictions, but the threat of cold weather has caused city officials to change the time residents are allowed to water.
Under new rules that went into effect December 31, watering is now allowed between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., a time period during which watering was previously restricted. The revised watering schedule will stay in place until March 1.
"We are trying to prevent the freezing on the streets and sidewalks caused by watering late at night and early in the morning," said Gerald Cosgrove, the city's public works director. "However, even with the change we are still only allowing watering two days a week."
Residents whose addresses end with an even number, or zero, are allowed to water on Mondays and Thursdays. Residents with odd addresses may water on Tuesday and Friday.
The city has been under water restrictions because of the lack of rain, as well as the inability to pump water from Lake Texoma because of the presence of zebra mussels. While there is no way to remove the mussels from Texoma, the North Texas Municipal Water District believes a $300 million pipeline currently being constructed from Texoma to a water treatment plant in Wylie will help combat the water shortage.
The district received some needed political help last week when President Barack Obama signed into law a bill that will allow pumping to resume once the pipeline is complete. One of the sponsors of the bill, Sen. John Cornyn, said in a press release the legislation was needed in order to ensure enough water was available for Texans.
"This bill will allow the Texoma Water Pump to reopen and provide water to the more than 1.5 million people served by the North Texas Municipal Water District and Greater Texoma Utility Authority," he said. "It's a common sense piece of legislation that helps Texans."
Data provided by the city of Plano shows that water restrictions are allowing the city to save billions of gallons of water. In August, Cosgrove told the council water usage was down nearly 14 percent from the previous year. Updated numbers were not available, Cosgrove said, but he added the savings may decrease slightly over the winter since twice-a-day watering is currently allowed, compared to once-a-day watering last winter.
For information on watering in Plano, visit plano.gov/water or call 972-769-4338.
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