San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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June 18th, 2009
San Marcos enters Stage 2 drought restrictions

SUBMITTED REPORT

San Marcos will enter Stage 2 drought restrictions effective June 19th in response to the Edwards Aquifer Authority’s (EAA) declaration of Stage 2 due to low aquifer levels at the J-17 index well, located in San Antonio.

Stage 2 is implemented when the ten day average index well level falls below 650 feet above mean sea level (msl).  On Thursday, the aquifer level was at 645.8 feet above msl, with a ten day average of 649.6 feet above msl.  The historical average for June is 663.7 feet above msl.

Stage restrictions may also be triggered by low springflows at Comal or San Marcos Springs.  On Wednesday, the San Marcos springs were flowing at 80 cubic feet per second (cfs).  The historical average spring flow for June is 192 cfs.  The San Marcos springs form the headwaters of the San Marcos River.

The City implemented Stage 1 of its Drought Response Plan on April 28th in response to low flows at San Marcos Springs.  The last time the City went into Stage 2 restrictions was September 2006.  Under EAA rules, aquifer users such as municipalities are required to reduce their usage by 30% during Stage 2.

The City of San Marcos receives 75% of its water supply from surface water from Canyon Lake and 25% from the aquifer.

“I think our citizens know the aquifer is a valuable resource and we need to do everything we can to protect it,” said Tom Taggart, the city’s PubliC Services department director.  “At times like this we all need to step up our efforts just a bit.”

City of San Marcos Stage 2 restrictions include the following:

· Waste of water is prohibited.

· Irrigation with sprinklers and automatic sprinkler irrigation systems is allowed only one day per week on the designated weekday between the hours of 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. to midnight.  The designated weekday is as follows:

* Monday for addresses ending in 0 or 1.
* Tuesday for addresses ending in 2 or 3.
* Wednesday for addresses ending in 4 or 5.
* Thursday for addresses ending in 6 or 7.
* Friday for addresses ending in 8 or 9.

· Hand watering is allowed on any day and at any time.

· Irrigation with a soaker hose or drip irrigation system is allowed only one day per week on the designated weekday between the hours of 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. to midnight.

· Irrigation of golf courses and athletic fields with sprinklers is allowed only one day per week on the designated weekday between the hours of midnight to 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. to midnight.

·Charity car washes are prohibited except at a certified commercial car wash.

· At-home car washing is allowed only on the designated weekday between the hours of 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. to midnight and must be done using a hand-held bucket or hand-held hose equipped with a positive shutoff device.

· Swimming pools located outdoors must have at least 25% of the water surface area covered when not in use.

· Filling of new swimming pools is prohibited.

· Operation of outdoor decorative water features is prohibited.

· Washing of impervious surfaces is prohibited.

· Foundation watering is allowed only one day per week on the designated weekday between the hours of midnight to 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. to midnight.

· Restaurants are allowed to serve water only upon specific request by the customer.

· All other non-essential water use is prohibited.

For information please contact Jan Klein, Conservation Coordinator, at (512) 393-8310.

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