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Southlake Eyes Further Water Restrictions

SOUTHLAKE (CBSDFW.COM) – City officials are worried if water demand isn't scaled back they may have to take further conservation efforts.

The city set stage one water restrictions last month, meaning residents can only water twice a week. At first, homeowners cut back, but since the restrictions went into place on July 25, the city has issued 600 warnings. Only seven tickets have been written to repeat offenders.

"Demand has picked up," said Southlake Public Service Director Bob Price. "And we're going to need a little bit more compliance than we're getting today."

The issue is more than how much water is available; it's how much water is in the system at any one time.

If it drops below a certain level several things can go south in a hurry, Price said. For instance, the city must maintain enough water pressure in case there's a fire emergency.

And low water levels run the risk of contamination, so residents would have to boil it before use. But how close is Southlake to having to institute the second level of water restrictions?

"It's getting very close," Price said. "If we drop below 18 feet in all of our elevated storage tanks, then we may be forced to go to stage two."

That means watering lawns only once a week.

The city is complying, too.

Shrubs and grass near City Hall are brown. Decorative fountains are shut off. The Carroll Independent School District says it no longer waters athletic fields.
Public areas that use water often are quick to put up signs that they're using well water, not city water.

Southlake homeowner Hector Rodriguez says he'll do whatever is needed, as well.

"You do what restrictions tell you to do and hope for the best, that's about all you can do," he said.

Rodriguez said his primary concern is having enough water indoors for bathing and cooking.

"I have an irrigation system but I don't use it. I see the irrigation systems many times waste a lot of water," he said.

He waters what he wants by hand. Plants, he says, can be replaced.

"On the external side, I'm not too worried," he said.

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