Leander has changed its water conservation phases and drought contingency plan to better distribute water demand across the city, especially in peak demand times.

The city is in Phase 3 of its new water conservation plan, which prohibits outdoor irrigation and limits customers to hand watering only, according to the city. The city expects to downgrade to a lower phase once the Brushy Creek Regional Utility Authority plant returns to its regular capacity, Public Works Director Gina Ellison said to Leander City Council on March 18.

On Dec. 19, the BCRUA water treatment plant went down following a line break in the raw water intake on Lake Travis. The city relies on the BCRUA plant and its own Sandy Creek water treatment plant to service its water customers.

The utility authority will begin filling the raw water line March 25, BCRUA General Manager Karen Bondy said in an email. It is estimated to take one week to fill the pipeline and another week to deliver water at full capacity, Bondy said.

New phases, previously called stages, include:

  • Phase 1: These are base water conservation restrictions. Residential watering can be two days per week.

  • Phase 2: This is the water restriction phase. Residential watering is limited to one day per week.

  • Phase 3: This is the water emergency phase. All outdoor watering is restricted to hand watering only.

  • Phase 4: This is the water system failure phase. Essential water use only.

In Phases 1 and 2, outdoor irrigation is limited from 7 p.m.-10 a.m. Residential watering days in Phase 1 include:

  • Tuesday and Friday: addresses ending in 1, 5, 9 (Fridays only in Phase 2 conservation)

  • Wednesday and Saturday: addresses ending in 2, 4, 6, 8 (Wednesdays only in Phase 2)

  • Thursday and Sunday: addresses ending in 0, 3, 7 (Sundays only in Phase 2)

Commercial addresses are limited to one day a week in Phases 1 and 2. These days include:

  • Tuesday: addresses ending in 1, 5, 9

  • Saturday: addresses ending in 2, 4, 6, 8

  • Thursday: addresses ending in 0, 3, 7

Leander City Council approved changes to the city's Water Conservation and Drought Contingency Plan on March 18. The ordinance does include penalties for violation. Residential violations include a warning on the first offense, $50 fine for the second offense, $100 for the third offense and $200 and nonemergency disconnection for the fourth offense, according to the ordinance. Commercial offenses are similar with greater fines.