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Plano Flushes Out Fire Hydrants Despite Water Restrictions

PLANO (CBSDFW.COM) - Water flowed freely from Plano fire hydrants Thursday in an effort to improve its quality despite the city's Stage 3 Water Restrictions.

In the last three years, homes and businesses have cut water use by 40 percent. So much so, in fact, that the city's water is lingering in pipes a little too long.

The city is having water quality problems in its distribution system, according to Plano Director of Public Works, Jerry Cosgrove. He said chlorine keeps bacteria out of the water supply but disappears over time. It's a process that happens even more quickly in the heat of summer. And opening hydrants, according to the city, is the easiest way to get water moving.

"It's a balancing act between wasting too much water and keeping what water we have safe," said Cosgrove.

But in a time of severe drought, many residents were incensed by what they saw.

"It's a lot of waste. We're not supposed to waste, but the city's wasting, so gets you enraged," said one Plano resident.

A spokesperson for the city said they agree and scheduled a "water holiday" in response. It granted neighbors with even numbered addresses an extra day to water on Thursday.

But residents complained, demanding the city reschedule.

"The thing is I have to address the water quality issues now. If I reschedule later on, I'm still gonna have to flush today anyway," said Cosgrove.

Plano residents with odd numbered addresses will receive their water holiday on July 22 when there's a chance of rain.

If the city reschedules the water holidays though, they said getting water moving through the system is the cause – not settling any issues of fairness.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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