By CRISTIN REECE
Water, water everywhere? Not lately for East Texas and unfortunately, that doesn’t look to be changing anytime soon, causing some area water suppliers and city officials to start eyeing ways to save.
On Friday, Slocum Water Supply officials issued a Stage 1 Water Restriction, curtailing all outside watering between the hours of 3 p.m. and midnight, until further notice.
“What this means is that we have enough water resources, we are just asking that all Slocum WSC customers restrict their outside watering,” corporation President Howard Calloway stated in the notice declaring the restriction. “These hours are what we consider the peak hours of the day when everyone is getting home and doing the daily chores indoors.”
Not only does the restriction help conserve water, WSC officials said the restriction could help alleviate potential water pressure problems.
Corporation reports indicate it has continually maintained the mandatory water pressure required by the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality at each residence.
“We are just asking that everyone please conserve water to avoid going into a more restricted stage,” Calloway continues in his statement.
During this restriction, WSC officials will be monitoring the system. Anyone caught watering during these hours could face up to a $500 fine or even water service termination.
“We would like to thank everyone in advance for your cooperation in this matter,” Calloway stated.
Palestine council members also discussed phase I of the city’s drought management plan during the workshop portion of their regular meeting held July 8, but took no action at the time on implementing any part of phase I.
“I wanted to bring it to the Council’s attention,” Palestine Utilities Director Robert Sedgwick said Friday. “It’s a good time to review it. We’ve never had to issue any water restrictions, and hopefully we never have to.
“We’re very fortunate to have plenty of water, but as the city grows we’ll have to plan for when our usage begins to exceed our capacity. And it’s never a bad idea for all of us to start to conserve water anywhere and any time we can.”
Sedgwick said earlier in June the city did experience a minor water shortage, due to some mechanical issues, but those problems have since been rectified.