Weatherford Democrat

Local News

July 26, 2012

Willow Park puts strict water regulations in place

WILLOW PARK — As of Tuesday, the City of Willow Park implemented stage four water restrictions, allowing watering only once a week, after city staff reportedly found that the amount of stored water had dropped significantly.

The city was already at stage two water restrictions and trying to recover from an earlier water main break, as well as high usage, when staff discovered this week that the water storage tanks were low.

Mayor Richard Neverdousky said at the city council meeting Tuesday that Public Works Director Lance Petty called him called him that morning and told him the city’s tanks were below the 50 percent level.

Petty reportedly told him that three things happened that caused the situation.

“One of them was the well at El Chico was shut down so as not to contaminate it while test holes were being drilled for the well that is going to be in the lower aquifer,” Neverdousky said.

The city is in the process of drilling three new wells to replace existing, underperforming wells.

“The second thing that happened is the amount over what had been planned to use for the new construction site was used,” Neverdousky said. “It was anticipated they would use 15,000 gallons and 80,000 gallons were used and so all of the construction site water meters have been collected up and that has been halted.”

His understanding was that the apartment construction had used about 65,000 gallons more than expected on a daily basis, council member Gene Martin added.

“The other thing is the extreme amount of usage the last two mornings between 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock in the morning,” Neverdousky said. “Apparently, a lot of folks have their sprinklers on timers and an excessive amount was used.”

The mayor said they hope to have the issue resolved in about a week.

“It’s anticipated that by changing it to stage 4 and collecting the water meters that by Monday or Tuesday we should be able to go back to stage 2,” Neverdousky said.

Martin expressed frustration that the city made the jump into stage 4 without warning.

“We had difficulty last summer,” Martin said. “It was described to the city council that most of that difficulty was driven due to a definition of the various rationing stages, who could water at what hours.”

The council revised those hours so that the city could move smoothly between successive stages of water rationing, Martin said, adding that that has not happened this year.

“We jumped into [stage] 2, we jumped into [stage] 4,” Martin said.

Martin said he expected to be meeting with Petty next week and getting the criteria by which procedure will be followed on when they will announced changes to various water rationing stages.

“I’m a little annoyed,” Martin said.

The jump to stage 4 water conservation gave one council member concern about possible long term issues with developments in and around the city.

“It appears to me like that we don’t know what our water’s going to do from one day to the next day,” council member Dan Stalling said. “And here we are saying five years down the road we are going to have x amount of water available. I think that’s an unreasonable expectation based on our past history. The water - we don’t know from day to day what’s going to happen.”

“I’m going to leave the jury in the room until we get Lance’s report next week,” Martin said.

“Yeah, I think we need more information but even with that, we can’t, to say five years we’re going to have plenty of water with three wells,” Stalling said.

Martin said he expected to start working next week to see if, using the monitoring system, they could establish criteria to look ahead to see when they should be implementing water rationing stages.

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