The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

October 1, 2012

City of Enid ends water restrictions

Staff reports
Enid News & Eagle

ENID, Okla. — The city has removed all water restrictions, ending a series of controversial conservation efforts.

The notification came in a news release sent from the city of Enid at nearly 6 p.m. Monday.

“The city thanks residents and businesses for making a conscious effort to decrease water usage,” city spokesman Jacob Foos said in the release. “Water conservation remains an ongoing focus for the city, and year-round conservation efforts of residents and businesses are encouraged.”

Last week, the city cut its restrictions back to the voluntary odd-even lawn watering system put into place in July as the first phase of conservation efforts. City Manager Eric Benson said then his plan was to end all rationing on Monday.

The odd-even sprinkling system allowed residents to water every other day. Residents whose house is on the odd side of the street may water on odd-numbered days, and those who live on the even side of the street may water on even-numbered days. There were no restrictions on how long people could water, as long as they follow the odd-even schedule.

Violators faced a $100 fine, plus costs, for each day the ordinance was violated. Residents with private wells were not affected.

At the time rationing was imposed in July, city wells were producing between 16 million and 17 million gallons of water per day. The capacity is 19 million gallons per day, city officials said.

When the first phase of conservation efforts did not cut consumption, the city imposed stronger rationing, limiting people to one hour of hand watering. Then, city commissioners imposed a required rationing system and established severe penalties for those who exceeded city water use standards, while rewarding those who conserve. Commissioners raised water rates for usage over a certain amount each month, and lowered rates for those who used less than a certain amount.