Remember this? Well, never mind.Mustang utility customers will deal with outdoor watering restrictions indefinitely after Oklahoma City Council approved a conservation plan Tuesday.
Oklahoma City officials restricted outdoor watering on Jan. 17 so residents with odd-numbered addresses could only water on odd-numbered days and those with even-numbered addresses on even-numbered days. That will continue.
Mustang must follow Oklahoma City’s water rationing rules because the municipality buys water from the larger city. Other cities impacted include El Reno, Yukon, Piedmont, Newcastle, Moore, Norman, Edmond and Blanchard. Canadian County Water District 3 is also affected as well as Deer Creek Rural Water Corporation, Tinker Air Force Base and Pottawatomie County Rural Water District 3.
While recent rainfalls have rescued the region from a short-term drought, Oklahoma City officials are worried about the long term, spokeswoman Debbie Ragan said. Weather forecasters and climatologists have raised a red flag that Oklahoma could experience a long-term dry weather pattern and the last month has offered a small reprieve.
Seeing Lake Hefner this winter fall 17 feet below normal opened eyes, she said.
“It’s something we need to be doing anyway,” she said.
Fines in Oklahoma City for violations start at $119 and increase to $269 and $519 for repeat offenders. Mustang tickets cost $124.
Oklahoma City Utilities Director Marsha Slaughter said an enforcement team will issue tickets.
“It’s unlikely that anyone in the Oklahoma City metro is unaware of the drought situation at this time,” Slaughter said. “It’s not our intention to penalize our customers for using water. We just need everyone to know how serious this year’s drought likely will be. We all want nice landscaping. It’s possible to do so and still use water wisely.”
If Oklahoma City lakes fall below 50 percent of capacity, the plan will tighten outdoor watering to two days per week. Homes with odd addresses will water on Saturday and Wednesday, and those with even addresses on Sunday and Thursday. All others water on Tuesday and Friday, including apartment complexes, duplexes, commercial, industrial and government.
If lakes fall to 45 percent of capacity, outdoor watering will be restricted to one day per week. Homes with resident addresses ending in 1 or 3 water on Saturday; 5,7 or 9 on Wednesday, 0 or 2 on Sunday; and 4, 6 or 8 on Thursday; multifamily structures on Tuesday; and commercial, industrial or government on Friday.
If lake levels fall to 40 percent of capacity, only hand watering will be allowed. Commercial car washes without a water recycling operation will also be closed.
A full-out ban for all outdoor water use will be implemented if lake levels fall below 35 percent of capacity.
Debbie Ragan, Oklahoma City water department spokeswoman, said the lakes have never been that low before.