Drier weather conditions are starting to take their toll on Lake Corpus Christi, which is why Beeville residents are being asked to conserve water.

The reservoir, which spans into portions of Jim Wells, Live Oak and San Patricio counties, serves as Beeville’s primary water source. Officials say that it has dropped below 40 percent of its storage capacity, which Beeville City Manager John Benson said automatically triggered Stage 1 of the city’s drought contingency plan Dec. 29. All Texas cities are required to have such a plan as part of their water conservation plans.

“Stage 1 stays in effect until Lake Corpus Christi goes above 50 percent,” he said.

The city’s other water source is the wells at Chase Field, which went online in 2020. However, Benson said, Beeville is limited to pumping 1.4 million gallons per day from those wells, which is not enough to meet the city’s current demand.

He said Beeville is permitted to draw up to 5 million gallons per day from Lake Corpus Christi. An average of 3.3 million gallons per day of water from the reservoir was being processed through the George P. Morrill Water Treatment Plant in Swinney Switch.

Water customers are being asked to voluntarily conserve.

“What we’re asking for water customers to do is to limit the watering of lawns,” Benson said. “If they have an automatic sprinkler system, they should limit watering to once a week. But they can still do hand watering whenever they want or use drip irrigation.”

Sprinkler usage is limited to between the hours of 6 p.m. to 10 a.m.

Also limited to once per week is washing cars at home, according to the city’s declaration. The use of commercial car washes, which have systems in place to recirculate used water, is encouraged.

Additionally, the washing of building exteriors and sidewalks except in the interest of public safety, allowing water to runoff into the street and allowing the constant flow of water through a tap, hydrant or valve is discouraged.

“Don’t leave water running, shut it off, especially when brushing your teeth,” Benson said.

Occasional rainfall in Beeville has not helped the level of Lake Corpus Christi, he said. If conditions continue to deteriorate and the reservoir’s level drops to below 30 percent of its capacity, Stage 2 would restrict customers from watering foundations, and washing vehicles and boats. Benson said ornamental water usage in fountains and waterfalls would be prohibited, along with using water for dust control and for the irrigation of golf courses. Fire hydrant use would be limited only to fighting fires.

He also said in State 2, the city council would have the option to revise water rates to create a penalty for excessive water use.

For more information, call Benson at 361-3589-4641, ext 201.

wgibbs@mysoutex.com

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