Homeowners in Plano will get a break from twice-per-month watering restrictions over the next two weeks. The city is offering a “watering holiday” where, for one assigned day, people will be able to run their sprinkler system.
The city says it needs to flush out its water supply, adding it won't offer a raincheck if it rains on one of those scheduled extra days.
Plano's watering holiday comes in the middle of Stage 3 restrictions.
Right now in the city, like most the North Texas Municipal Water District, homeowners can only run outdoor irrigation systems on two assigned days per month.
Plano’s plan would add a third day.
For people with even-numbered home addresses, that day is Thursday, July 17.
For odd-numbered addresses, the day is Tuesday, July 22.
Stage 3 restrictions will kick back in after people finish watering on July 22.
The reprieve is partly a reward, says Public Works Director Gerald Cosgrove.
The city has set a goal for water conservation to reduce usage by 15-20 percent. Cosgrove says citizens have more than exceeded the goal – they've even doubled it.
However, there's another immediate need to temporarily increase water usage.
"We need it done now," said Cosgrove.
Cosgrove says the less water people use, the more water sits in tanks and pipes in the city's system, which can create a water quality problem.
The city wants to avoid having to drain, replace and waste the existing water by giving homeowners this one-time hall pass to treat their lawns.
Cosgrove says the city has had some negative feedback about scheduling the off-week extra days during a time when rain is in the forecast.
He says if lawns get a good soaking, homeowners should not activate their irrigation systems on Thursday.
He also said there will be no raincheck or floating holiday. Thursday and the following Tuesday are one-time opportunities.