Effective June 12, residences in the City of Kenedy with street addresses ending with an even number are required to water their lawns only on Sundays and Thursdays between the hours of 8 p.m. and 10 a.m. the following morning.
Residences with street addresses ending with an odd number are required to water their lawns only on Saturdays and Wednesdays between the hours of 8 p.m. and 10 a.m. the following morning.
The restrictions apply to all kinds of yard watering, even hand watering or use of soaker hoses.
City officials say that residents who are found in violation of the Stage 2 water restrictions could be cited for not complying and then face paying a fine of $200.
Currently there are no mandatory restrictions in place regulating the use of water for washing cars or for use in swimming pools, but city officials are encouraging residents to voluntarily curtail their use of water that is used for any purpose.
Recent issues with the City of Kenedy’s water system were brought to the attention of city council members during the June 12 meeting of the Kenedy City Council.
City Manager Ford Patton told the council that over the Memorial Day weekend the city’s best water well was lost due to a mechanical failure with the motor. Patton said the well was pulled on the following Tuesday and was restored to service the next day.
Patton reported that on or about June 4, there was a freak electrical problem that caused Karnes Electric Coop to lose power to a large part of their service area in Karnes County.
“That affected us because our best well, and two other wells are in that area and the power was out for about seven and a half hours,” Patton said. “It also caused the lift station at the TDCJ facility to go out. A combination of things happened. We proceeded to lose water pressure in some areas of town. We lost a lot of water in the overhead storage tank at the TDCJ unit.”
Patton said that Veolia Water personnel worked some long hours to work through the issues and after some time were able to get the city’s water system back online at full capacity.
“It was not without some problems getting everything back online, but it was done,” Patton said.
Consumption of water across the city, has increased significantly, Patton said.
“We have not been keeping up with consumption like we would like,” Patton said. “Our storage levels are down.”
“Our supply is limited, our treatment capabilities are limited, and wherever possible, we need to reduce water consumption,” Patton said.
Patton explained that Veolia personnel are in touch with TDCJ Connally Unit state prison, which is the city’s biggest water customer, using 60 to 65 percent of the water produced in the city.
“We’re doing everything we can,” Patton said.
Council members asked it telemetry was being used to monitor usage. Veolia officials said that they were monitoring usage by the larger water users.
City Councilman Ken Reiley quoted numbers in a report that showed that the city sold 38 million gallons of water in October and 39 million gallons in November.
“In April we sold 35 million and in May we sold 37 million which is a lot less than what we did in October and November, so what’s changing?” Reiley asked. “Why don’t we have a water supply?”
“We’ve lost seven of the wells, as far as production near the aquifer and dropping them and cutting back on those as well,” Veolia Project Manager Ray Borroum said. “Consumption is up. It is averaging 24 million or so for the prison.”
“I just don’t see it in your reports,” Reiley said. “If you are cutting back on wells, that’s understandable. According to this, we have had a lot worse months and didn’t have any problems. To say that we don’t have a water supply right now is kind of bothersome from the standpoint that there is something going on and I would really like to pinpoint what that is... We need to define what it is, and take care of it.”
Reiley said he disagreed with Veolia’s assessment that the problem was with limited supply.
“We have the water, we have the capability, what’s going on that it is not getting where we need it?” Reiley asked.
“It’s just not enough water for the demand,” Borroum said.
“So where did demand go up?” Councilman Bob Patton said.
“It doesn’t show that it has gone up,” Reiley said. “I could understand if the wells weren’t producing, that’s a different thing.”
Borroum said the report only shows data through May 20, so the spike in usage may have happened after the last reporting period.
“We’re trying to play catch up,” Borroum said.