(June 3, 2014) At the urging of the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD), the City of Frisco will limit outdoor watering using automatic sprinkler systems to once every two weeks on residents’ designated trash days beginning June 29. Click here for a watering schedule map. The Frisco City Council voted unanimously to modify the city’s Stage 3 requirements at a ‘Special Call’ meeting
“Council carefully and thoughtfully considered the long-term needs of Frisco and the region in instituting these modifications, “said Mayor Maher Maso. “Water conservation is a regional, state and national issue. Our area lakes are experiencing historic lows. There’s no question, Frisco has been on the leading edge of implementing successful water conservation programs. But we need to do even more during the upcoming, critical summer months in order for all of us in the district (NTMWD) to avoid Stage 4.”
“We’re (NTMWD member cities) at a critical stage due to the extremely low level of Lake Lavon going into the summer,” said George Purefoy, City Manager. “Therefore, it’s in Frisco’s best interest to enter into a program which provides the maximum effect to keep our residents, and those of other cities, committed to conservation,” said Purefoy.
On May 22, the NTMWD board members voted to extend Stage 3 watering restrictions to once every two weeks through October 31. Lavon Lake is more than 11.5 feet below normal; Lavon is more than five feet lower than it was this same time last year.
Under the modified Stage 3 restrictions, the City of Frisco is allowing residents to water turf grass and landscaping by hand up to two hours per day except between the hours of 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. ‘Smart’ irrigation systems (E.T. or Evapotranspiration controllers) must also comply with once every two week restrictions. Frisco’s existing administrative fee schedule for watering violations will remain the same.
A first-time Stage 3 violation results in immediate disconnection of the sprinkler system and a red sign being placed in the yard, noting the violation. A $25 administrative fee will be applied to the first-time violator’s next water bill. The fee may be waived if residents complete a free irrigation check-up. Additional violations result in higher fees: $50 for a second violation and $75 for a third violation, including a citation. Violators will need to call Frisco Public Works, 972-292-5800, to have their outdoor watering system ‘turned back on’.
“As we move forward with the district’s recommendation to modify our plan, one message hasn’t changed and that is, ‘turn off your automatic sprinkler systems’,” said Gary Hartwell, Director of Public Works. “During this continuing drought, we’re asking residents to please use hand-held hoses, drip systems and bubblers to water your lawns, landscaping and trees. We also encourage folks to use soaker hoses to protect their foundations.”
Recreational water toys, such as ‘slip and slides’ are allowed under the city’s modified Stage 3 restrictions. However, Hartwell reminds residents to be mindful water that ‘run off’ from any property is considered a violation.
When the NTMWD requested its member cities to adopt Stage 3 restrictions last summer, the district also asked cities to reduce water consumption by 10 percent. In fact, Frisco’s has saved 1.9 billion gallons of water compared to the same 12-month period in 2012. That savings translates into a 20-percent reduction in the city’s water consumption.
“We’ve managed to save 1.9 billion gallons of water, despite our city’s growth, since Stage 3 water restrictions went into effect last summer (2013). Our residents have heard the call to water wisely. We’re proud not only have our residents help us meet the district’s goal, we’ve exceeded it. We’re very appreciative of our residents’ efforts because we, like the district, understand the need to do everything we can to avoid Stage 4 restrictions, which restricts all outdoor watering.”
Frisco long history of water conservation efforts dates back to 2002, when the city began requiring pressure reducing values on all water service connections. In 2005, Frisco mandated rain/freeze sensors on all irrigation systems. The next year (2006), Frisco required all new homes being constructed be equipped with ‘smart controller’ irrigation systems. That same year, Frisco began offering its free, residential irrigation check-ups. In 2008, the City of Frisco installed its own weather stations and rain gauges, which provide the data for staff’s weekly watering recommendations.
Frisco also invested approximately $1.6 million dollars to install water wells at Warren Sports Complex, Harold Bacchus Community Park and Frisco Commons, thus removing the city’s largest parks from the potable water system.
Frisco adopted year round water restrictions in 2009. In 2011, Frisco averaged 227 gallons per person, per day (gpcd). Last year, Frisco residents average dropped to 180 (gpcd).
‘We believe our free irrigation checkups have contributed to more residents using water wisely,” said Hartwell. “Since beginning our program in 2006, we’ve completed about 12,000 check-ups. Our licensed irrigators will look for broken or misaligned sprinkler heads. They’ll also help residents set their controllers so when it’s they’re day to water, they’re system is programmed for efficient cycling.”
The City of Frisco has three licensed irrigators on staff. To schedule a free, irrigation checkup, send an e-mail to WaterWise@FriscoTexas.gov or call 972-292-5800. Residents can also report water waste by going online .
“We want to thank our residents for understanding the challenge facing all of us (in the region) this summer,” said Mayor Maso. “With everyone’s help, we hope to improve upon our water conservation efforts and avoid Stage 4.”