(August 7, 2013) Well-timed rainfall deserves some of the credit, but Frisco residents also earned a major thumbs up for reducing the amount of water they used by 25 percent compared to July 2012.
Residents are figuring out how to better schedule and maintain their sprinkler systems as they learn to live within their water means during the Stage 3 water restrictions. But public works officials encourage residents to keep up the good work as we move through August and September. These are often two of the hottest, driest months in North Texas.
Restrictions on lawn watering must continue because of the low water levels at area lakes resulting from several years of drought conditions.
Gary Hartwell, City of Frisco Director of Public Works, said residents used 316 million gallons less of water in July than they did a year ago. Since June, residents have saved 460 million gallons, relative to the same period last year. They used 238 gallons a day in July, while using 331 in July 2012.
Residents in June, the first month of the Stage 3 alert, reduced use by 15 percent.
“Awareness has gone up a lot this year, and people are trying to not waste water,” Hartwell said. “I think we’ve gotten better at getting the word out, and our block captain program has helped.” That program encourages neighbors to share ideas about how to use water wisely.
The City also gets more calls from residents who witness excessive watering or sprinklers going off on the wrong days. Residents who don’t follow the lawn-watering rules – once a week, on trash pickup days – can be penalized. About 1,700 residents had been cited for violations as of Aug. 1.
Hartwell said residents who are identified for disobeying Stage 3 restrictions seem more likely to apologize than to complain these days. “I just got an email yesterday from a lady who had gotten her sprinkler system turned off for watering on the wrong day,” he said. “She said she was sorry and would learn from this.”
Hartwell said Frisco lawns should weather the hot summer fine with the current once-a-week schedule. During 2012, Frisco water station data indicated a need to water lawns more than once during only one week.
If residents need guidance on how to better manage their watering routine, they should contact the Water Resources Division and set up a free irrigation checkup. More than 1,800 home visits have been scheduled this summer. The City also offers workshops that offer smart water-usage tips.
“Frisco residents have really responded to our efforts to use water more wisely,” Hartwell said. “They’re doing a great job. I just want to encourage them to continue to do everything they can to help us get through the hot months ahead.”