Drought Level 1 takes effect Aug. 1
The City Council has enacted Drought Level 1 restrictions that limit outside watering to once every seven days and no more than 1 inch per week, effective Aug. 1.
The change from watering twice to once a week is dictated by the City’s drought contingency ordinance, which mandates the tighter restriction when San Angelo’s available water supply slips to 24 months. Twenty-four months is a worst-case scenario that assumes no rainfall or runoff into San Angelo’s reservoirs over that two-year span.
“San Angelo has for years now embraced water conservation, realizing how vital an adequate water supply is for the continued growth of our community,” Mayor Brenda Gunter said. “We are now asking our citizens to be even more mindful about their water usage and to redouble their conservation efforts. In short, we all need to do our part and be water-smart.”
Currently, the City’s primary water source, Ivie Reservoir, is at 15 percent of its capacity. Twin Buttes and O.C. Fisher reservoirs are at 9 percent and 7 percent of their capacities, respectively. Lake Nasworthy is at 81 percent of its capacity. The City is also using about 1.5 million gallons per day from the Hickory Aquifer.
Year to date, San Angelo has recorded 9.68 inches of rainfall – 1.61 inches below normal. The area has been plagued with triple-digit heat since May.
The use of water sprinklers and handheld hoses is prohibited from noon-6 p.m. when evaporation rates are highest. Drip irrigation can be used any time of day, but should not exceed 1 inch per week. Under the drought ordinance, golf course greens may be watered daily from 6 p.m. until noon the following day.
Water runoff of more than 150 feet from a property is always prohibited.
Residential users who use more than 3,000 gallons per month also face higher charges. Usage of 3,000-15,000 gallons will be charged at 1.05 times the regular rate. The rate for usage of 16,000-39,000 gallons is 1.1 times the normal rate. For usage of more than 39,000 gallons, the multiplier is 1.2 times the normal rate.
While the watering restrictions require customers to conserve water, the Drought Level 1 surcharge is meant to encourage consumers to be more mindful of their usage to stretch the community’s water supply as far as possible.
Should San Angelo slip to Drought Level 3, which is triggered by 12 months of available water supply, outdoor watering would be prohibited and higher rate multipliers for usage would be triggered.
To report a watering violation, call the Code Compliance office at 325-657-4409, visit cosatx.us/water, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or message the City of San Angelo-Public Information Facebook page. Reports should include the address, the time of day, the nature of the violation and, if available, photos.
The Water Conservation division educates the public on how it can make the most efficient use of San Angelo's public water supply in an effort to conserve and preserve the community's most precious natural resource.
Current drought level
As of Aug. 1, the City is in Drought Level 1, which restricts outside watering to no more than once every seven days and no more than 1 inch per week. Watering is prohibited from noon-6 p.m., as is runoff of more than 150 feet down any street, gutter, alley or ditch.
Drought Level 1
In effect when the city has less than 24 months of available water supply.
Prohibited watering hours: Noon to 6 p.m.
Hand watering of lawns, gardens, landscape areas, trees, shrubs or other plants being grown outdoors or foundations may be done on any day, except during the prohibited watering hours of noon to 6 p.m., provided the allowable application rate of 1 inch per week is not exceeded.
Golf course greens may be watered daily except during the prohibited watering hours of noon to 6 p.m.
Additional fees: The following multipliers will be assessed to the charge for the amount of water used when the City enters Drought Level 1
Water conservation videos
Water conservation tips with John Begnaud:
Water conservation tips
- Toilet leaks can be silent. Be sure to test your toilet for leaks at least once a year.
- Put food coloring in your toilet tank. If it seeps into the bowl without flushing, there’s a leak. Fix it and start saving gallons.
- If your toilet flapper doesn’t close properly after flushing, replace it.
- Do not flush your toilet unnecessarily. Throw your facial tissues in the trash instead of in the toilet.
- Look for WaterSense® labeled toilets, sink faucets and showerheads.
- Shorten your shower by a minute or two and you’ll save up to 150 gallons per month.
- Turn off the water while shaving or brushing your teeth.
- Run your washer and dishwasher only when they are full. You can save up to 1,000 gallons a month.
- One drip every second adds up to five gallons per day! Check your faucets and showerheads for leaks. It’s simple, inexpensive and you can save 140 gallons a week.
- We’re more likely to notice leaky faucets indoors, but don’t forget to check outdoor faucets, pipes and hoses. If your water meter is moving even though all faucets are off, your house most likely has a leak somewhere.
- Leave lawn clippings on your grass. This cools the ground and holds in moisture. But don’t let this suffocate your lawn.
- Practice Xeriscaping. This method of landscaping uses plants which are native to your area or are naturally drought resistant.
- Aerate your lawn periodically. Holes every 6 inches will allow water to reach the roots, rather than run off the surface.
- Sprinklers should spray large drops close to the ground, rather than a fog or mist, which can be blown away by wind.
- Use soaker hoses or drip irrigation wherever possible.
- Watering plants deeply but infrequently encourages deep root growth and drought tolerance.
- Use mulch around plants and flowers. The mulch reduces evaporation and helps keep water near the roots of the plant where it is most beneficial.
- Do not over water. This means watching for puddles or runoff.
- Only water your yard. Concrete sidewalks and gutters don't grow. This may require readjusting your sprinklers or watering some areas by hand.