City clamps down on water usage
by Gary Kent
Jan 17, 2013 | 1847 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
BEEVILLE — The City Council voted last Thursday evening to adopt tighter water use restrictions for homes and businesses here.

City Manager Deborah Ballí issued a media advisory Monday informing city utility customers that the council has approved implementing Condition 3 drought restrictions.

That means utility customers in the city may only irrigate outside vegetation on certain days of the week.

Residents and commercial businesses with addresses that end with an even number may only use water for irrigation on Monday and Wednesday of each week.

Residents and commercial businesses with addresses ending with an odd number may only water their lawns and gardens on Tuesday and Thursday.

The previously initiated restrictions will remain in effect. That means that watering outside will not be allowed between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., when evaporation rates peak.

Also, no residence or business may allow water to run off yards or plants and into gutters or streets.

All customers must repair any defective or leaky plumbing in a home or business. That is to include faucets and taps, out-of-repair water closets and underground leaks.

No customer may allow water to run constantly through any water fixture. Violators can be fined up to $200 for each violation.

The city is not just ordering its customers to tighten up water usage and stop waste. City Water Superintendent Cesario Vela has had a team of workers repairing the numerous large and small leaks in the 18-mile pipeline that runs between the George P. Morrill, I Water Treatment Plant at Swinney Switch and the city.

Also, the City Council agreed during the Jan. 10 meeting to have experts from Urban Engineering look at what it will take for the city to drill a water well in the vicinity of the John C. Beasley Municipal Golf Course so that facility can be maintained without using any of the Beeville Water Supply District’s treated water.

Urban will be able to spend up to $25,000 on that study.

In addition, the council has been asked to look at the possibility of repairing one or more of its former well locations, so that the city can sell that water to companies seeking water supplies for hydraulic fracking in the Eagle Ford Shale oil field.

Most cities in the Coastal Bend have had to enact some form of water restrictions as the region struggles through the second year of a drought.

According to the latest report from the City of Corpus Christi regarding the amount of water in storage at Lake Corpus Christi and the Choke Canyon Reservoir, the municipal water situation could become bleak if the area does not receive some significant rainfall.

As of Tuesday, Lake Corpus Christi was at 16.3 percent of Capacity and Choke Canyon was at 46.8 percent of capacity.

To put that into perspective, at this time last year Lake Corpus was at 32.7 percent of capacity and Choke Canyon was at 61 percent. The combined percentage of both reservoirs has fallen from 53.4 percent to only 38.6 percent in one year.

Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at
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