San Marcos will enter Stage 2 drought restrictions effective Monday, May 7 at noon in response to quickly falling levels of the Edwards Aquifer. The aquifer has dropped 19 feet in the last 30 days.
Stage 2 for the San Antonio Pool of the Edwards Aquifer is implemented when the ten day average at the J-17 index well level falls below 650 feet above mean sea level (msl).
— Feet the Edwards Aquifer has dropped since April 3
— Level of the aquifer this morning, in feet above mean sea level
— Historical average level of the aquifer in May, in feet above mean sea level
On Thursday, May 3, the daily reading was 647.2 feet above msl, with a ten day average of 649.7 feet. The historical average for May is 666.2 feet.
San Marcos Stage 2 rules restrict use of sprinklers, sprinkler systems, foundation watering, soaker hoses and at-home car washing to limited hours on one designated weekday. Stage 2 also limits watering of golf courses and athletic fields, prohibits filling new swimming pools and outdoor decorative water features, and washing paved surfaces.
“Aquifer levels have very quickly dropped over the past few weeks,” said Tom Taggart, Executive Director of Public Services. “A drop of nearly 20 feet has occurred in that short time. We are seeing daily declines of over 1 foot in level. This requires we rigorously conserve our water to slow the decline and the resulting spring flow decreases.”
San Marcos activated Stage 1 watering restrictions on April 23, 2012 when the level of the underground pool that serves as a water source for 2 million Texans dropped below 660 feet. The index well level was at 666 feet on April 1, at 657 feet on April 18, and at 647 feet on May 3.
In 2011, San Marcos and the Edwards region were under drought restrictions for most of the year. The City implemented Stage 1 of its Drought Response Plan on April 19, 2011 and Stage 2 on June 3, 2011. 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 80% of its water supply from surface water from Canyon Lake and 20% from the aquifer.
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 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 8 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 percent 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 unless required for health and safety use.
· Foundation watering 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.
· Restaurants are allowed to serve water only upon specific request by the customer.
· All other non-essential water use is prohibited.
Upon written request to the conservation coordinator, customers may designate an alternate watering day, although sprinkling is allowed only one day a week.
Stage 2 rules are available on the City of San Marcos website at www.sanmarcostx.gov For more information please contact Jan Klein, Conservation Coordinator, at 512-393-8310. To report violations, please call the Water Conservation Hotline at 512-393-8360.Email | Print