City Manager Bill Keffler signed an administrative order Tuesday, April 3, to rescind the City’s more restrictive Stage 3 water conservation measures. Though still in Stage 3, the new guidelines allow for a once-per-week outdoor watering schedule for homes and businesses. The change follows new guidelines adopted during a special meeting held March 29, 2012 by the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD).
“We’re in a much better position now than we were at this time last year,” said Richardson Mayor Bob Townsend. “That’s why the North Texas Municipal Water District feels we can safely move forward with allowing more watering. Of course, there are still challenges due to the loss of access to water supplies from Lake Texoma because of the zebra mussel infestation. And, as we learned this past summer, the prospects for rain are always uncertain. However, we’re glad the District is recommending that we can alleviate some water restrictions, and keeping Stage 3 will help us continue to do our part in conserving this vital resource for the future.”
Lake Texoma represents 28 percent of the total capacity of water available to the North Texas Municipal Water District, which is Richardson’s water supplier. The NTMWD is actively working on options to allow pumping from the lake to resume, but anticipates water from Lake Texoma will be unavailable until at least the summer of 2013. Even though the District’s other reservoirs are either ‘at’ or ‘near’ full capacity, the loss of water from Lake Texoma is enough to require the need for water conservation efforts to continue until the water supply issue can be resolved.
The City of Richardson has developed the following plan based on the guidelines requested by the NTMWD.
Stage 3 Outdoor Irrigation Schedule (once a week until further notice)
| 0,2,4,6,8 (Even)
| 1,3,5,7,9 (Odd)
No outdoor lawn watering is allowed between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
- Watering during significant rainfalls/precipitation is prohibited.
- Washing or rinsing of owner's buildings, vehicles, boats, trailers, other mobile vehicles and equipment on owner's premises is allowed only with the use of an automatic shutoff valve.
- The washing or hosing down of sidewalks, driveways, patios, porches, parking areas or other paved surfaces is prohibited.
- Excessive water runoff from any landscaped area onto any impervious surface is prohibited.
- The new construction water line flushing and routine fire hydrant flushing is prohibited without specific approval from the director of public services.
Exemptions - The following water usage is exempt from stage 3 restrictions:
- Watering new landscape, trees, and foundations is permitted for 2 hours a day with use of soaker or hand held hoses or a drip irrigation system.
- Competition public athletic fields may be watered two times a week.
- Golf courses may responsibly water without restrictions.
- ET/Smart irrigation and drip systems may be used responsibly without restrictions, but will need to register their system with the Department of Public Services to be exempt.
- Hand watering of ornamental flower beds and other ornamental landscaping is allowed with use of a hose equipped with an automatic shut-off nozzle.
- Hydroseeding, hydromulching, sprigging is permitted.
- Existing swimming pools, Jacuzzis and spas may be drained and refilled as needed for repairs or to maintain operational levels.
- Ornamental fountains using treated water may be operated without restrictions.
- Commercial full-service or self-service car wash facilities, including those at service stations and automobile dealership facilities are allowed to operate without restrictions.
- Activities utilizing wastewater effluent, natural water springs, ponds or deep water wells.
The City’s Community Services Department has inspectors on duty to respond to complaints. Anyone who receives a citation will not be required to appear in court, as is the custom with all other code citations. Instead, a defendant may elect to plead guilty and pay a window fine of:
- First offense - $150
- Second offense - $350
- Third offense - $1,000
If a citation is written as an “aggravated offense,” the defendant is required to appear before a municipal court judge to have the case resolved.
Violators could see an up to $2,000 fine for failing to follow water conservation measures.
To meet public health and safety needs and to help maintain overall water pressure in the City’s system, the City of Richardson has certain facilities that must be watered outside the publicly mandated water restriction times. Such facilities include athletic and recreation facilities used by the public for a variety of purposes.
Though some City facilities will be watered outside times dictated by the ordinance, the City will maintain watering schedules that will meet or exceed conservation efforts. Other large public and private water users will also have variances for water usage, and will be monitored according to the guidelines in the variances for which they apply.
Variances are available for watering of newly installed landscape until vegetative roots are established. Any variance approved for watering new landscaping will expire 30 days after becoming effective.
Anyone wishing to request a variance from Richardson’s water restrictions must contact the City’s Public Services Department at 972-744-4220.
Stage 3 In Place Until Further Notice
The City of Richardson will maintain Stage 3 water restrictions until further notice. The schedule is designed to meet the NTMWD’s goal of conserving as much water as possible until the current water supply issues end.
The City asks for all residents and businesses to continue to follow their use, and thanks everyone for their efforts so far.
More information and tips on water conservation can be found on the City’s Water Conservation website available by clicking the link below. Further information is also available at www.wateriq.org and www.ntmwd.com.
Click the link below to read more about water restrictions and conservation: