San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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June 2nd, 2011
San Marcos to enter Stage 2 drought restrictions

SUBMITTED REPORT

San Marcos will enter Stage 2 drought restrictions effective Friday, June 3 at noon in response to quickly falling levels of the Edwards Aquifer.

As of Wednesday, June 1, the aquifer was 16.4 feet below the historic average for June and 27.8 feet below aquifer levels just a year ago. In recent days, the aquifer has dropped one to two feet a day.

Stage 2 restricts 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.

Stage 2 is implemented when the ten day average index well level falls below 650 feet above mean sea level (msl). On Wednesday, the aquifer level was at 646.9 feet above msl, with a ten day average of 650.5 feet above msl. The historical average for June is 666.3 feet above msl.

Stage restrictions may also be triggered by low springflows at Comal or San Marcos Springs. On Tuesday, the San Marcos springs were flowing at 115 cubic feet per second (cfs). The historical average springflow for May is 182 cfs compared to last year at 224 cfs. The San Marcos springs create the headwaters of the San Marcos River.

The City implemented Stage 1 of its Drought Response Plan on April 19, 2011 after the Edwards Aquifer Authority declared a Stage 1 Critical Period. The last time the City went into Stage 2 restrictions was June of 2009. Under EAA rules, aquifer users such as municipalities are required to reduce their usage by 30 percent during Stage 2.

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

“Our citizens recognize what a valuable resource the aquifer is to our quality of life and know how to conserve water,” said Tom Taggart, Director of Public Services. “We have entered extreme or exceptional drought conditions over 78 percent of Texas and need to use water wisely and cautiously.”

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 393.8360.

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