The District remains under Modified Phase II water shortage restrictions, as the Governing Board extended the restrictions through June 30, while lifting restrictions on pressure washing.
Board Member Paul Senft started the discussion on water restrictions during the Board’s Feb. 22 meeting.
“We are still 28½ inches behind for 48 months,” Senft said, “so caution should be exercised.”
Although most of the District’s water resources are showing improvements, the District continues to recover from the four-year drought. Board Secretary Hugh Gramling echoed Senft’s desire to proceed with caution.
“I traditionally have been the one trying to go with the easiest set of water restrictions possible for a lot of different reasons,” he said, “but I think this is the wrong time for us to allow ours to expire.”
The restrictions would have expired on Feb. 28 without any action, but the Board wanted to take a wait-and-see approach for now.
“I would feel a lot more comfortable if we were to continue the current restrictions through June 30,” said Gramling. “July is traditionally the beginning of the rainy season.”
The Board agreed, but Board Member Bryan Beswick wanted to be sure that the Board was thinking about the impact on small business owners.
“In our community down in DeSoto County, there are some people that are in the pressure washing business,” said Beswick, “and under the current rule, they’re not supposed to be pressure washing.”
Beswick said since the time of year is approaching when pressure washing businesses are busy, some restrictions should be lifted.
“We’re in tough economic times right now,” said Beswick, “and I’d hate to see these businesses impacted.”
The Board agreed to lift restrictions on pressure washing, while leaving other restrictions in place, but also urged residents to continue the water conservation practices they’ve learned over the past three years.
Under the Modified Phase II restrictions, pressure washing is allowed for necessary purposes such as prior to painting or sealing, or to address a health or safety hazard. Pressure washing will now be allowed once a year for any reason.
District water restrictions include limiting lawn watering to a maximum of one day per week. Properties under two acres in size may only water before 8 a.m. or after 6 p.m. on the assigned day. Properties two acres or larger may only water before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m.
Under the water shortage restrictions, residential car washing is limited to once per week. Even-numbered addresses may wash on Tuesday or Saturday; odd-numbered addresses may wash on Wednesday or Sunday.
Aesthetic fountains and other water features may only operate eight hours per day. The regular hours of operation can be selected by the owner, but must be posted.
In addition to following restrictions, residents are also urged to continue conserving water in other ways indoors and outdoors at their homes and businesses. Residents should consider turning off their irrigation systems if it rains before their next watering day. With outdoor irrigation accounting for as much as 50 percent of residential water usage, skipping a week of watering can result in a significant water savings.
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