The city of Georgetown announced July 17 residents in the western portion of its water service area will remain under Stage 3 of the drought contingency plan through Sept. 4.
The western portion of the service area is described in a city press release as being southwest of Williams Drive, west of DB Wood Road and west of the Southwest Bypass. It includes the Parkside, Santa Rita Ranch, Parmer Ranch and Water Oak neighborhoods as well as the Liberty Hill extraterritorial jurisdiction.
The city first implemented Stage 3 restrictions for all Georgetown water customers July 14 through July 17.
During Stage 3 restrictions, residents are not allowed to use their irrigation systems or hose-end sprinklers. Customers in the affected area are also prohibited from washing their vehicles at home, installing turf or grass, and filling outdoor spas and hot tubs.
Additionally, all city splash pads will be closed for the rest of the season. However, city pools will remain open as their water use is minimal, according to the release. To further save water, all city facility irrigation systems that do not use reclaimed water will be turned off.
“We did not make this decision lightly,” Georgetown Mayor Josh Schroeder said in the release. “We know Georgetown water customers take pride in their homes, and not being allowed to water our lawns is far from ideal. However, having safe drinking water for our customers must take priority over pristine, green lawns.”
Customers who are not in the affected area may return to their one-day-a-week outdoor watering schedule, which is determined based on address.
Hand-held watering is still allowed at any time during both Stage 2 and 3.
The release points to a number of factors that led to 35% of Georgetown water customers remaining in Stage 3, including:
- Low levels at Stillhouse Hollow Lake and Lake Georgetown
- Severe drought conditions
- Sustained, high temperatures
- Not receiving full amount of contracted water from the city of Leander
- The Southside Water Treatment Plant being offline for rehabilitation
- Three pump stations that are unable to keep up with demand
- Water use exceeding 95% of treatment capacity multiple days during the past two weeks
“If any one of those conditions were to improve, we could look at lifting the restrictions, but for now, everyone must adhere to the watering restrictions in place, so we don’t have to take them further,” Assistant City Manager Nick Woolery said in the release.