WPB Toughening Water Restrictions, Urging Conservation

(Friday, April 20, 2007)  The City of West Palm Beach will be toughening water-use rules, implementing Phase 3 water restrictions in the coming days.  The Phase 3 restrictions will likely become official during the middle part of next week, but residents are urged to prepare now.  The new restrictions include a mandate that residents may only water their lawns one day per week.

“This water shortage is serious, and we need all residents to take action now,” said West Palm Beach Mayor Lois J. Frankel.  “Conserving water is everyone’s responsibility, and our residents should be sure they know and follow all of the water restrictions.”

The move to Phase 3 is a direct result of the ongoing drought in our area.  With lake levels low, residents are strongly urged to conserve as much water as possible.  Residents with questions about the restrictions can call the City’s 24-hour hotline at 822-2222, or log on to wpb.org/restrictions.

Some of the main effects of the Phase 3 restrictions on residents are:

- All residents are encouraged to use a maximum of 40 gallons of water per person per day.

- Residential customers are only permitted to water their lawns ONE DAY PER WEEK.  Homeowners with odd numbered addresses (ending in 1,3,5,7, or 9) can water on Saturdays only, 4:00 A.M. to 7:00 A.M.  Homeowners with even numbered addresses (ending in 0,2,4,6,8) can water on Sundays only, 4:00 A.M. to 7:00 A.M.   Water each zone of your lawn for ten minutes only during the three-hour time frame on you water day .

- Vehicles may only be washed on a non-paved surface between 5:00 P.M. and 7:00 P.M. on your normal yard watering day.

- No refilling of residential pools is permitted, unless the pool is leaking more than one inch per day.

- Washing or cleaning driveways, sidewalks, or other paved surfaces is prohibited.

- Outside aesthetic uses of water (such as fountains) are prohibited.

- Draining water onto roads, driveways, or other paved surfaces is prohibited.

Following the yard watering rules is the best way to cut your water consumption, as irrigation accounts for nearly 50% of all water use.

The West Palm Beach City Commission will consider a resolution mandating Phase 3 water restrictions at their regular commission meeting on Monday, April 23, 2007.  Upon passage of the resolution, the South Florida Water Management District is expected to issue an order implementing Phase 3 for West Palm Beach utilities customers.  The exact day of Phase 3 implementation will be announced as soon as it is available.  Enforcement of Phase 3 restrictions will begin upon their implementation, with first-time violators subject to a $50 fine.

To report water-use violators, or to find answers to water-use questions, residents should call 561-822-2222.  Some simple and effective water conservation tips are available on-line, at wpb.org/restrictions.