The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

May 20, 2014

Water conservation begins June 1 in Enid

By Dale Denwalt, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — The city of Enid has triggered water conservation rules for the third year in a row.

Starting June 1, residential and commercial water users will alternate lawn watering.

Because of the recent dry conditions and high temperatures in the forecast, City Manager Eric Benson ordered the first of three possible water conservation phases.

“Based on last year’s experiences, we are asking all residents to join in this proactive approach to conserve water as we deal with the upcoming summer months,” Benson said in a prepared announcement.

Phase one of water conservation mandates residences or commercial buildings with even-numbered street addresses can only water lawns on even-numbered calendar days.

Odd-numbered addresses may use the sprinkler on odd-numbered days.

This year’s conservation effort starts more than a month earlier than previous years. In 2012, the first year of cutbacks, the city ordered odd-even watering in July. After strengthening the restrictions, the city finally ended water conservation in October of that year.

In 2013, phase one lasted just three months before the city eased conservation efforts.

The city has adopted three levels of water conservation. If water usage hits 15 million gallons per day for several days in a row, and if weather conditions suggest that there will be no rain and high temperatures, city staff will recommend going to phase one. The final decision is made by the city manager.

Phase two includes the restrictions in the first phase and also forbids sprinkler systems, leaving landowners to only water by hand and only one hour per day.

Phase three further enacts emergency water rates in an effort to keep water usage down.

The city may issue a fine of up to $100 per day for each violation, but there were no fines issued last year.

Enid spokesman Steve Kime said it’s not clear yet whether the city will expand conservation restrictions.

“If this early 100-degree weather continues, and we don’t receive any significant rainfall in the next month, then we could very easily go to phase two,” he said.