Oak Ridge North implements trigger points for harsher watering restrictions

As the city awaits repairs on Water Well No. 3, the Oak Ridge North City Council has implemented trigger points by which to advance to the third stage of its drought contingency plan.

The city council agreed July 8 to move to Stage 3 mandatory water restrictions if the city's water usage exceeds 800,000 gallons of water on three consecutive watering days. City officials said the city reached more than 1 million gallons on July 3, while usage has exceeded more than 800,000 gallons several times since late June.

"There's no reason to go over 800,000 [gallons of water] in this environment," City Manager Vicky Rudy said. "It shows the residents aren't conserving water."

Councilman Clint McClaren said Stage 3 restrictions include the odd and even watering schedule already in place, in which odd-numbered addresses water on Saturdays and Wednesdays and even-numbered addresses water on Sundays and Thursdays, but also prohibits residents from irrigating through the use of any hose-end sprinklers.

Water Well No. 3 went down in June when the pump slowed down and pieces began to break off. Although the city agreed to borrow water from the South Montgomery County Municipal Utility District until Water Well No. 3 is operational, city officials said Water Well No. 2 has been running as much as 22 hours a day on watering days to keep up with the city's usage.

The well should be running no more than 12-14 hours on watering days, city officials said.

"We can't afford these 1 million gallon days and to have that well go out," Councilman Tom Coale said.

The city began implementing its drought contingency plan in June and started the process of hiring a consultant to repair the damaged the well. Of the three bids received for the project, city council approved the lowest bid—Weisinger—on July 8 to repair the well and provide a more powerful motor for $216,469.

A 60-day construction contract, City Engineer Ed Shackelford said construction could begin once the contract has been reviewed by the city attorney and signed by Mayor Jim Kuykendall.

For more information on the city's water restrictions, go to www.oakridgenorth.com.

By Matt Stephens
Matt Stephens joined Community Impact Newspaper in December 2012. A Tomball native and a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, Matt joined as a reporter for The Woodlands team before being promoted to help launch the Spring | Klein edition in spring of 2014 and later to North Houston managing editor in late 2015. He has served as managing editor to the Phoenix and Nashville papers since August 2020.