Galveston issues mandatory water conservation orders

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GALVESTON - The City of Galveston issued mandatory water conservation orders effective Tuesday.

Galveston officials said this comes as result of a Texas Commission on Environmental Quality mandate calling for the city to enact Stage Two of its Drought Contingency Plan.

Officials said Stage Two restrictions allow property owners to use automatic sprinkler systems on landscaped areas on designated days and times. Hand-watering is allowed at any time of day on the designated watering days as long as a handheld hose, faucet-filled bucket, water can, or drip irrigation system is used. 

City leaders said these restrictions will continue until further notice.  

Below are the guidelines for the Stage Two water restrictions:

  • Irrigation of landscaped areas with hose-end sprinklers or automatic sprinklers is limited to Mondays and Thursdays for water customers east of 103rd Street, and Wednesdays and Saturdays for water customers west of 103rd Street and must be completed before 10 a.m. or after 8 p.m. on designated days.  Watering by means of a hand-held hose, a faucet-filled bucket, watering can of five (5) gallons or less, or drip irrigation system is allowed at any time on designated days. 
  • Private use of water to wash any motor vehicle, motorbike, boat, trailer, airplane or other vehicle is prohibited except on designated watering days before 10 a.m. or after 8 p.m.  Such washing, when allowed, shall be done with a hand-held bucket or a hand-held hose equipped with a positive shutoff nozzle for quick rinses. Vehicle washing may be done at any time on the premises of a commercial car wash or commercial service station. Further, such washing may be exempted from these regulations if, as determined by the Director of Municipal Utilities, the health, safety, and welfare of the public is contingent upon frequent vehicle cleansing, such as garbage trucks, fishing vessels, and vehicles used to transport food and perishables.
  • Use of water to fill, refill, or add to any indoor or outdoor swimming pools, wading pools or Jacuzzi-type pools is prohibited except on designated watering days before 10 a.m. or after 8 p.m.
  •  The addition of potable water to any ornamental fountain or pond for aesthetic or scenic purposes is prohibited except where necessary to support aquatic life.
  • Use of water from hydrants shall be limited to fire fighting, related activities, or other activities necessary to maintain public health, safety, and welfare.  The use of water for construction purposes from designated fire hydrants may be allowed by special permit from the Director of Municipal Utilities or designee.
  • Unless permitted by the Director of Municipal Utilities, use of potable water for the irrigation of golf course greens, tees, and fairways is prohibited except on designated watering days before 10 a.m. or after 8 p.m.   However, if the golf course utilizes a water source other than potable water provided by the City of Galveston (e.g. reclaimed, non-potable water), the facility shall not be subject to these regulations. 
  • All restaurants are prohibited from serving water to patrons except upon patron request.
  • The following uses of potable water are prohibited:
    • Washing down of any sidewalks, walkways, driveway, parking lot, tennis courts, or other hard-surfaced areas;
    • Washing down buildings or structures for purposes other than immediate fire protection:
    • Using water for dust control, except as permitted by the Director of Municipal Utilities;

    • Using water for hydrant flushing, flushing gutters, or permitting water to run or accumulate in any street; and

    • Failure to repair a controllable leak(s) within a reasonable period after having been given notice directing the repair of such leak(s).

Residents who violate the water use restrictions could face fines and penalties. 

If you need to report water leaks or violations should call the Public Works Department, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 409-797-3630. To report leaks afterhours call 409-766-2115. Residents needing to report violations after 5 p.m. on weekdays, as well as on weekends, please call the Galveston Police Department's non-emergency number, 409-765-3702.

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