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Austin to adopt tougher water use measures

Thursday, August 13, 2009 by Austin Monitor

Following news of tougher mandatory water restrictions from the Lower Colorado River Authority, the City of Austin plans to ramp up its own water restrictions as of August 24.

Austin will move from Stage 1 to Stage 2 water restrictions on August 24, Austin Water Utility spokesman Kevin Buchman confirmed Thursday. This will be the first time that Stage 2 provisions have kicked in since the new water use management ordinance passed in 2007.

Under the two-year-old ordinance, commercial properties have been forced to follow mandatory water restrictions year-round. Residential properties also must limit water use when the city enters Stage 1 water restrictions.

Under Stage 2 restrictions, which are triggered by combined lake levels, additional water conservation measures will be put in place. The following restrictions apply:
• Customers may only operate automatic irrigation systems between midnight and 10am on a designated outdoor water use day. Such usage is now allowed from 7pm to 10am.
• Customers may not use an automatic fill valve to add water to an outdoor swimming pool, wading pool or pond.
• Customers may not wash sidewalks, driveways, parking areas or other paved surfaces except to alleviate an immediate health or safety hazard.
• Restaurants may not serve water unless requested by the customer.
• Other restrictions also apply to specific water uses such as car washing and outdoor fountains.

Both of the city’s operational water plants are on Lake Austin. Austin did have similar “Stage 2-like” restrictions in Summer of 2006.

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