Allen City Council passed an ordinance on new mandatory water restrictions Tuesday night.
The city decided that it will allow residents to water foundations, shrubs and trees within a 10-foot radius of their trunk up to two hours a day with a hand-held hose, or soaker hose.
Under the ordinance, a person is allowed to hand water his or her lawn for two hours every day, provided he or she remains outside manually operating the water flow.
Prior to the ordinance approval, Allen’s rules only allowed the hand watering of trees, shrubs and foundations. The new rules would also apply to lawns.
The ordinance will also prohibit hosing of paved areas, buildings or windows, operation of ornamental fountains, washing or rinsing vehicles by hose unless using a shut-off nozzle and prohibit using water in such a manner as to allow runoff or other waster.
Under Stage 3 water restrictions, the city of Allen only allows sprinkler and irrigation systems to run twice per month on an assigned water day.
“You’ve got one day every two weeks,” said Tim Buck of Allen, who supports the idea of hand watering. “You’re lucky if you remember.”
Buck thinks hand watering could be a nice supplement, but he worries about the time commitment.
“There’s hardly time to go out and move a sprinkler around – let alone stand there with a hose in your hand,” Buck said.
At Puckett’s Nursery in Allen, employees told NBC 5 they exclusively water by hand and encourage their customers to do the same.
Manager Dianne Ogburn said in the first years of drought, people were resistant to the idea.
“We did have customers that didn’t own a water hose and they were offended that they might have to get out there and do some work,” Ogburn said.
However, Ogburn said most people quickly changed their tune, after realizing the extensiveness of the drought.
Neighboring cities have similar hand watering rules.
Plano and Frisco both allow hand watering for two hours per day, but the times citizens are allowed to be outside watering varies from city to city.