By Janet Jacobs
With no rain in the forecast and a very dry end of the summer, area lakes are at 67 percent capacity and so the City of Corsicana is instituting voluntary water restrictions. The restrictions will apply to city residents and nearly everyone in Navarro County, because the City of Corsicana supplies water to almost all the smaller water cooperatives and companies.
“We’re sending out notices to our wholesale customers today,” said Charles Leist, director of environmental services for the City of Corsicana. “They’ll have to institute water restrictions just like Corsicana residents.”
Under the restrictions, people are asked to limit their outdoor watering, particularly using sprinklers. Hand-watering, that is using a water hose, is allowed at any time. Watering should be confined to the hours betwen 6 p.m. and 10 a.m.
On Mondays, no one should use a sprinkler system. On Tuesdays and Fridays, only apartments, businesses, schools and parks should water outdoors, no single-family residences.
On Wednesdays and Saturdays, homes with addresses ending in even numbers — 0, 2, 4, 6, 8 — can use their sprinklers. On Thursdays and Sundays, homes with addresses ending in odd numbers — 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 — can use their sprinklers.
The restrictions are based on an escalating scale of conservation and water demand, according to Leist.
Under stage 1, it’s voluntary restrictions on outdoor watering. If the problem worsens, then it goes to Stage 2, which is considered moderate restrictions, happens when the lakes are at 50 percent capacity and means mandatory restrictions. Stage 3 is when the lakes are at 33 percent capacity, and it calls for very strict enforcement and restrictions. In the past, the city has even instituted surcharges to encourage users to slow their water consumption.
“We’ll be watching for 50 percent very closely,” Leist said.
Among the tips the city offers are to use water so that there’s no water runoff or waste.
• Use a bucket, not a spray nozzle for washing cars;
• Make sure the dishwasher or clothes washer is full before running it;
• Take shorter showers;
• Turn water off while brushing teeth;
• Install a toilet dam or other water-saving device in commodes;
• Use water-saving native plants and shrubs in landscaping.
Corsicana controls almost all of the water rights to Navarro Mills, Lake Halbert and the local rights to pump from Richland Chambers Reservoir. The city determines water restrictions based on the water levels in area lakes that provide water to the county.