San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

April 28th, 2009
San Marcos enters Stage 1 water restrictions


The City of San Marcos entered Stage 1 drought restrictions Tuesday at noon.

This action results from the Edwards Aquifer Authority’s (EAA) decleration of stage restrictions. The EAA entered Stage 1 on April 27, due to low spring flows at the San Marcos Springs.

“We have been monitoring spring flows closely over the past few months,” said San Marcos Public Services Department Director Tom Taggart, “and have had a few well-timed rains that delayed stage restrictions in spite of the serious drought.”

Taggart continued, “Unfortunately, recent rains have not significantly affected the recharge zone.”

A Stage 1 restriction happens when spring flows and/or index well levels fall below designated triggers. The trigger for Stage 1 occurs when the ten day average J17 index well level falls below 660 feet above mean sea level, or when the ten day average flow rate at the San Marcos Springs falls below 96 cubic feet per second (cfs).

On April 27, the San Marcos Springs flowed at 94 cfs, with a ten-day average of 94.1 cfs. Last year at this time, the springs were running at 154 cfs. The historical average for April is 176 cfs.

Stage 1 restrictions include the following:

  • Waste of water is prohibited.
  • Irrigation with sprinklers and automatic sprinkler systems is allowed only one day per week on the designated weekday, between the hours of midnight to 8 a.m., and 8 p.m. to midnight. T he designated days are 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, and Friday for addresses ending in 8 or 9.
  • Hand watering and irrigating with a soaker hose or drip irrigation system is allowed on any day and at any time. Hand watering must be done using either a hand-held bucket or a hand held hose equipped with a positive shutoff device.
  • At home car washing is allowed only one day per week on the designated weekday, and must be done using a hand-held bucket, or a hand-held hose equipped with a positice 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 decorative water features is prohibited.
  • Washing of impervious surfaces is prohibited, unless required for health and safety use.
  • Restaurants are only allowed to serve water upon request.
  • All other non-essential water uses must be limited.

San Marcos receives 75 percent of its water supply from Canyon Lake, and 25 percent from the Edwards Aquifer. Under EAA rules, aquifer pumpers are required to reduce water usage by 20 percent during stage 1 restrictions.

For more information, contact San Marcos Conservation Coordinator Jan Klein at (512) 393-8310

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