Heavy downpours boost our water supply, but mandatory water rationing remains in effect for Oklahoma City and most of the metro.
Odd-even watering will be the law from now on, and breaking it could cost you some big bucks. The city wants to remind people that even with our recent rains, homeowners are still under mandatory watering restrictions. It's all part of the city's long term water conservation program.
If you haven't seen Lake Hefner lately, it's almost overflowing. Recent rains have filled Oklahoma lakes, leaving a lot of folks wondering why communities using Oklahoma City water still have strict rules to follow.
"It's easy for our customers to assume with all this rain and because it rained, the water restrictions are over, but that's not the case anymore," OKC Utilities Dept. Spokesperson Debbie Ragan said.
Odd-even watering has been in effect now since January. The city has adopted a progressive water conservation program that means mandatory odd-even water restrictions are permanent.
"I believe it needs to be done," resident Bill Barrows says, "because when the water runs out, what are you going to do then?"
Enforcement crews have been busy. They've issued nearly 700 tickets in less than 4 months.
"Whatever it takes, a few people get a few tickets, they hear they're doing it, and everybody will start going by the rules then," Barrows said.
The first offense will cost you more than $100. City leaders say part of the problem is that homeowners forget to reset their automatic sprinkler systems.
"Sometimes the water's just going down the street watering the sidewalks and streets. That's not a good use of our municipal water supply," Ragan said.
While most of Edmond doesn't use Oklahoma City's water, the City of Edmond has adopted the same odd-even watering restrictions.
To learn more about OKC's program, go to www.squeezeeverydrop.com