As the extremely hot temperatures and dry conditions persist, water use continues to increase.
For the third consecutive Wednesday, Fort Worth Water set a new daily water use record, and July’s water use set a new all-time monthly high.
Wednesday’s water use was 388.74 million gallons, breaking the one-week-old record of 386.91 million gallons set on July 27. The record before that was 379.84 set on July 20.
July’s water use was more than 10.7 billion gallons, breaking the old record of 10.2 billion gallons in August 2011.
These records could fall before the summer ends. The utility’s concern is the stress the high use puts on the treatment plants, pumps and pipelines. Water use varies throughout the day, and hourly usage rates have reached over 580 million gallons a day.
The dry soil and increased pressure and flow rates are contributing to an increase in main breaks and leaks. There were 232 main breaks in July, the most in a summer month since 235 in August 2011.The utility has brought in contractors to assist field operations crews in quickly repairing leaks to minimize water loss.
Fort Worth’s Drought/Emergency Water Use Plan has triggers the utility can use to implement additional water use restrictions if demands approach its limits to provide water. A major system failure could require implementing complete outdoor water bans, such as occurred in 1998 and 2005 when major transmission lines ruptured.
Customers who are using their sprinkler systems on Mondays, can expect to hear from the city. The utility is using meter data to notify customers that appear to be using irrigations systems on Mondays. About 6,000 to 10,000 postcards are being mailed each week in an effort to make sure customers understand the city’s ordinance requirements.
The city’s ordinance has assigned watering days and time-of-day limits for all customers. Each customer group has two assigned watering days per week. No group is allowed to water on Mondays.
Assigned irrigation days are Wednesday and Saturday for residential addresses ending in an even number – 0,2,4,6,8, and Thursdays and Sundays for addresses ending in an odd number – a 1,3,5,7,9. Businesses can irrigate on Tuesdays and Fridays.
No irrigation is allowed between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. on any day. Residential customers can use the MyH2O portal to view their water use by the hour, day and month. Just visit www.fortworthtexas.gov/MyH2O to register or login.
Water supply lakes are at 82.69 percent of capacity. From the water supply perspective, Stage 1 Drought Condition is triggered when the level is 75 percent. Tarrant Regional Water District estimates lake levels may be at the Stage 1 level by late September.
Using water efficiently can help delay implementing further water use restrictions. The
communities which purchase drinking water from Fort Worth Water have the same requirements. Visit www.savefortworthwater.org for the watering schedule details, tips for saving water outdoors and information on classes about the landscape.