(October 18, 2011) Effective November 1, the City of Frisco will move to Stage 3 drought restrictions as outlined in its Drought Contingency and Water Emergency Response Plan at the direction of the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD).
The NTMWD reports Lavon Lake could be dry by fall 2012, under worst case conditions.
During the October 17 Town Hall meeting, North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD) representative Mike Rickman cautioned residents to use water wisely. Gary Hartwell, Frisco’s Director of Public Works, reiterated the importance of shutting off sprinklers.
“Just turn your automatic sprinkler systems off,” said Hartwell. “That’s probably the best thing you can do for your landscapes this time of year. There’s really no reason to water during fall and winter. We need to take this opportunity to save water and do what we can to help protect our existing water supplies,” said Hartwell.
Lawns and landscapes need little to no outdoor watering. Warm season grasses, such as Bermuda or St. Augustine, go dormant during fall and winter months. ‘Dormant’ means grasses naturally turn brown during cooler months.
On October 4, council members voted unanimously to approve staff’s recommendation to move to Stage 3 water restrictions while urging residents to shut off their irrigation systems during fall and winter months.
Frisco’s ‘Stage 3’ allows a resident to water on their trash day, only if necessary. There are no ‘time of day’ restrictions. Stage 3 allows residents to use hand-held and soaker hoses to help protect important investments such as home foundations, pools, trees and shrubs.
Go online to www.friscotexas.gov/water to check out Frisco’s ‘state-of-the-art’ weather station data. This information is updated weekly. The weather station uses advanced technology to measure landscape water needs. Residents can subscribe to receive these updates directly via e-mail.
Stage 3 calls for a 10% reduction in water use by mandating residents take the following actions:
· Utilize hand held hoses for your trees, up to two hours each day
· Utilize soaker hoses for your foundations, up to two hours each day
· Obtain variance to drain and refill pools for maintenance
· Limit city water use to public safety needs (this includes watering athletic fields to prevent injuries and ‘hydrant flushing’ for water quality issues)
· Wash vehicles using hoses with end nozzles, only
Residents who ignore Stage 3 drought restrictions will have their sprinkler systems shut off and face additional fees on their water bills. Continued violations could result in a formal citation and court fines.
On September 28, NTMWD announced Stage 3 restrictions effective November 1 as a result of:
· Persistent, intensifying drought forecast through fall 2012;
· declining water levels of reservoirs (both Lake Chapman and Lavon Lake currently 12 feet low)
· continued loss of raw water supply due to invasive zebra mussels in Lake Texoma;
· record usage for the district;
· approaching treatment plant capacity.
To combat continued drought, Hartwell says staff is researching ways to ease the impact of drought on Frisco’s future. The City of Frisco has turned off sprinkler systems on all city-owned medians, with the exceptions of bubblers and drip systems to protect trees.
To view the October 17 Town Hall meeting, go to www.friscotexas.gov/townhall