Amanda Guerra, NBC 5 News
The city of Allen has implemented stage three water restrictions and is cracking down on residents who violate the restrictions.
City officials in Allen mean business this year when it comes to illegal lawn watering.
So far, the city has issued nearly 300 warnings since the beginning of June. Soon, it will starting writing citations.
"There are times during the night, when most violations happen, that we have six people out driving in vehicles looking for violations," said Stephen Massey, community services director. "They've got digital cameras; they take pictures. They document what they see."
Allen is already at Stage 3 water restrictions.
The city is part of the North Texas Municipal Water District, which is already experiencing low lake levels.
According to NTMWD records, the Lake Lavon reservoir was 99.6 percent full at this time last year but is now only 64 percent full.
Lake Chapman was at 95.8 percent last year but now is down to 50.2 percent.
"We begin to worry about our ability to fight fires, what we call our 'fire flow,' and we get worried about keeping the water in the system to prevent the growth of micro-organisms," Massey said.
If the city gets to that point, a boil notice could be issued to ensure safe drinking water.
Under Stage 3 restrictions, businesses and residents are limited to lawn watering once per week. People can still wash cars, hose down patios and driveways and keep swimming pools at the correct water level.
Massey said the restrictions could save the city anywhere from 10 percent to 15 percent in water.
If the NTMWD hits Stage 4 restrictions, residents would not be allowed to water lawns at all.
The NTMWD serves the following member cities: Allen, Farmersville, Forney, Frisco, Garland, McKinney, Mesquite, Plano, Princeton, Richardson, Rockwall, Royse City and Wylie. Additionally, the NTMWD lists the following towns as customers: Bonham, Caddo Basin SUD, Cash SUD, College Mound WSC, Copeville SUD, Crandall (Kaufman Four-One), East Fork SUD, Fairview, Fate, Forney Lake WSC, Gastonia-Scurry SUD, Greater Texoma Utility Authority (GTUA), Josephine, Kaufman, Kaufman Four-One, Lavon W.S.C., Little Elm, Lucas, Melissa, Milligan WSC, Mount Zion WSC, Murphy, Nevada WSC, North Collin WSC, Parker, Prosper, Rose, Hill SUD, Rowlett, Sachse, Seis Lagos UD, Sunnyvale, Terrell and Wylie Northeast SUD.