(May 17, 2013) Beginning June 1, Frisco will move to Stage 3 water restrictions, at the request of the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD). Under Stage 3, outdoor watering is limited to once a week on residents’ individual trash day, but only if needed. No outdoor watering is allowed between 10 a.m.
and 6 p.m.
“Outdoor irrigation systems waste more water than any other source,” said Gary Hartwell, Director of Public Works. "Based on our own weather station data, outdoor watering was not necessary for 31 weeks in 2012. Using that same weather station data, we recommended residents water only once per week during 20 weeks last year.”
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’.
Frisco recorded approximately 3,500 watering violations in 2012.
“The good news is, we performed 2,673 free irrigation check-ups last year,” said Hartwell, noting how thousands of gallons of water can be saved by detecting leaks, broken sprinkler heads and proper programming of sprinkler systems.
Earlier this month, the City of Frisco received an e-mail from a resident who benefitted from the free irrigation audit, which detected eight faulty sprinkler heads and poor programming of his system controller. The resident asked the irrigation specialist to program his sprinkler system for the imminent Stage 3 restrictions. The e-mail testimonial says the customer is already experiencing results, citing a dramatic drop in his water usage from 3,722 gallons per week to 852 gallons per week. Also, he’s making better use of water by using the cycle-and-soak method during the night for better absorption.
Frisco joins its neighbors and other member cities of the NTMWD by moving to Stage 3 water restrictions. The NTMWD Board of Directors voted to initiate Stage 3 of its Water Conservation and Drought Contingency and Water Emergency Response Plan on April 25.
“Our primary water supplies are below normal levels due to less than average rainfall, and projections indicate we will not get the rainfall we need going into this summer,” said Jim Parks, Executive Director of NTMWD.
The district’s primary water source is Lavon Lake; its additional supplies include Lakes Jim Chapman and Texoma. As of May 16, Lavon Lake is more than 8 feet low. Lake Jim Chapman is down 8.5 feet. Lake Texoma represents 28% of the NTMWD total raw water supply; however, the district cannot use water from Lake Texoma due to the presence of invasive zebra mussels. A new pipeline is being constructed to transport water to the water treatment plant in Wylie. The first phase of construction will be finished in January 2014.