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.
Current drought level
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.
Water Production is responsible for producing high-quality drinking water that meets safe drinking water standards and in sufficient quantities to supply the needs of the citizens and businesses of San Angelo. This is done by operating raw water supply facilities, treating the potable water supply and operating high service and remote pumping stations and tanks.
The City of San Angelo has five raw surface water sources: O.H. Ivie Reservoir, Lake Spence, O.C. Fisher Reservoir, Twin Buttes Reservoir and Lake Nasworthy.
The Hickory Aquifer is a supplementary source in McCulloch County. The infrastructure to transport and treat that groundwater is fully operational.
There are approximately 70 miles of pipeline from Ivie Reservoir to San Angelo's water treatment facility. The City receives between 9 million and 30 million gallons of water per day from Ivie.The City of San Angelo has five continuous pumping water towers. Two of these are ground storage tanks and three are elevated storage tanks.
Ground storage tanks are:
- Southwest - holds approximately 9.4 million gallons.
- Abilene - holds approximately 3.5 million gallons.
Elevated storage tanks are:
- Loop - holds approximately 1 million gallons and is classified as a low-pressure elevated storage tank.
- Lakeview - holds approximately 1.25 million gallons.
- Bluffs - capacity 2 million gallons.