Dallas Proposes Changes to Water Restrictions

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBC 5 News

    The City of Dallas revealed a plan to revise the stages of water restrictions as part of the 2014 Water Conservation and Drought Contingency Plan during Dallas City Council Committee meetings on Monday.

    According to the proposal, the current four stage watering system will be contracted to three stages, though the restrictions largely would remain the same.

    Like the current system, the three stages will be triggered when water reservoirs reach certain percentages of capacity/depletion.

    Under the proposed stages, Stage 1 would be triggered at 65 percent (35 percent depleted) and would restrict watering to twice per week. Stage 2 would be triggered at 50 percent (50 percent depleted) and would restrict watering to once per week. Stage 3 would be triggered at 30 percent (70 percent depleted) and would prohibit all outdoor watering except for foundations and trees by hand-held hoses.

    At this time, Dallas reservoirs are at 71 percent, or 29 percent depleted and customers are under Stage 1 restrictions.

    Proposed New Stages

    Stage 1

    • 1. Same schedule, but drip irrigation, soaker hoses and  hand watering allowed at anytime, on any day.
    • 2. Foundations may be watered at any time, on any day with soaker or hand-held hoses or drip irrigation.
    • 3. Restrict washing of vehicles to hand held bucket and hose with positive shut-off nozzle.
    • 4. Recreational use of water resulting in runoff prohibited.
    • 5. Enforcement efforts will increase in all stages through pro-active code enforcement.

    Stage 2

    • Residential schedule based on trash pickup days and commercial customers watering on Wednesdays. Drip irrigation, soaker hoses and hand watering would be allowed at anytime on any day.
    • 25 percent rate increase for high water demand users to discourage consumption and help offset enhanced enforcement costs. Rate applied only to residential customers using more than 15,000 gallons per month, per account; or commercial customers using more than 10,000 gallons and 1.4 times annual average monthly usage per month, per account.

    Stage 3

    • Landscape irrigation prohibited, except for trees with hand-held hoses, soaker hoses or drip irrigation only on the 1 day a week Stage 2 schedule.
    • Foundations may be watered one day per week on Stage 2 schedule with drip irrigation, soaker hose or hand-held hose.
    • Washing of vehicles restricted to commercial car washes, no prohibition on time or day.
    • Operation of ornamental fountains prohibited except where necessary to support aquatic life.
    • Same, but draining and refilling of swimming pools allowed to maintain proper operation and water quality.
    • No approval for new or increased water service.
    • 50 percent rate increase for high water demand users. Rate applied only to residential customers using more than 15,000 gallons per month, per account;  or commercial customers using more than 10,000 gallons and 1.4 times annual average monthly usage per month, per account.
    • Hosing off paved areas, buildings, windows or other surfaces prohibited.

    A vote on the proposal will be held by the City Council on Feb. 26. Read more on the proposal here.

    Dallas Water Utilities serves 2.4 million people living in the cities of Addison, Carrollton, Cedar Hill, Cockrell Hill, The Colony, Coppell, Dallas, Denton, DeSoto, Duncanville, Farmers Branch, Flower Mound, Glenn Heights, Grand Prairie, Grapevine, Highland Park, Hutchins, Irving, Lancaster, Lewisville, Mesquite, Ovilla, Red Oak, Richardson, Seagoville, University Park, Wilmer as well as DFW International Airport

    NBC 5's Ken Kalthoff contributed to this report.