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trymahjong

Stage ! water rationing

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after trying very hard to adhere to the odd/even house number days------got this in email---

Water levels in Lake Houston are dropping to the point where the City is

required to draw down water from Lake Conroe (already very low on water). With that, Stage 2 water restrictions are expected to go into effect.

Water savings tips: http://www.wateruseitwisely.com/100-ways-to-conserve/index.php

Stage 2 requirements from city ordinances:

"During a stage two water shortage, customers are required to:

(1) Repair detectible water leaks within 72 hours of discovery; and

(2) Limit outdoor irrigation to the hours between 12:01 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. or between 8:00 p.m. and midnight on no more than two days per week in conformity with the following schedule:

a. Sundays and Thursdays for customers with even-numbered street addresses; and

b. Saturdays and Wednesdays for customers with odd-numbered street addresses.

© During a stage two water shortage, the director shall institute a water use reduction program for city departments, including but not limited to:

(1) Establishing a ten percent water consumption reduction goal for all city departments;

(2) Ensuring that city irrigation systems do not wastewater;

(3) Discontinuing of <a name="hit40" rel="nofollow">water main flushing except to protect life or health; and

(4) Discontinuing washing of city vehicles."

Chron article: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/chronicle/7691563.html

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"

"During a stage two water shortage, customers are required to:

(1) Repair detectible water leaks within 72 hours of discovery;

Yet there are city mains leaking everywhere.

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"

Yet there are city mains leaking everywhere.

When you have 500_ breaks a day, it's kinda' hard to keep up, y'know?

Do you have an opinion on what should be done?

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When you have 500_ breaks a day, it's kinda' hard to keep up, y'know?

Do you have an opinion on what should be done?

I have tried calling 3-1-1 (on my own) on water leaks that weren't in front of anyone's home---I called 3 days in a row-- no response-- I asked members of my civic association to also begin calling on that water leak--

The city of Houston must have noticed-- 3 leaks in our neighborhood has been fixed so far by using our civic association members to call 311 on a specific leak--

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I have tried calling 3-1-1 (on my own) on water leaks that weren't in front of anyone's home---I called 3 days in a row-- no response-- I asked members of my civic association to also begin calling on that water leak--

The city of Houston must have noticed-- 3 leaks in our neighborhood has been fixed so far by using our civic association members to call 311 on a specific leak--

From what I understand, go down a list of priorities...obviously, the bigger the leak, the higher in the priorities.

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When you have 500_ breaks a day, it's kinda' hard to keep up, y'know?

Do you have an opinion on what should be done?

Just seems a little hypocritical to me to demand residents fix their leaks within 72 hours. Especially when your looking out your window at a water main pouring into the street for days on end.

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Just seems a little hypocritical to me to demand residents fix their leaks within 72 hours. Especially when your looking out your window at a water main pouring into the street for days on end.

Maybe the City doesn't have the staff to fix the leak outside your window due to mahjong and her neighbors insisting that their leaks are more important.

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Maybe the City doesn't have the staff to fix the leak outside your window due to mahjong and her neighbors insisting that their leaks are more important.

The leaks we got fixed were the kind that bubble up, flood the street, and cause the sidewalks to sink- all of the calls and the repair took place in April, May and June I didn't mean to imply everything was done in the blink of an eye--I don't think the 311 calls were magic or that our leaks were more important-but we were following the advise of a City council person that spoke at Neartown meeting, that thought a concerted effort to alert 311 to a particular problem might help get results.

I do think the city has trouble getting things done and that COH white van that goes through the neighborhood making "leak"assessments has left quite a few leaks running merrily down the sidewalks of Avondale---Our water pressure is zero

EMCA is experiencing quite a few leaks and is trying to get them fixed and found out from COH the number of leaks citywide is closer to 650

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EMCA is experiencing quite a few leaks and is trying to get them fixed and found out from COH the number of leaks citywide is closer to 650

So, you flooded 311 with calls to get your repair priority moved up that list of 650 leaks. You were very clear in what you and the neighbors did and intended to do. I am merely pointing out that Public Works crews were not simply sitting at the warehouse playing dominoes until your 311 posse started calling. They were out fixing leaks in other neighborhoods that were likely of a more serious nature than the ones in your neighborhood. But, you and your crew decided to upset the priority list by making your leaks appear more serious, thereby getting them repaired sooner.

There is nothing wrong with using the system to your advantage. However, bear in mind that by forcing the crews to fix your leaks first, other neighborhoods must wait. And, if their leaks are bigger, you have also added to the overall loss of drinking water in the entire system. In other words, your advice to others on how to game the water repair system is likely adding to the need for water conservation by the City.

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Mayor Parker Orders Mandatory Water Conservation Measures

Due to persistent drought conditions and continuously decreasing water levels in Lake Houston , as of Monday, August 15, 2011, Mayor Annise Parker has mandated the implementation of the City of Houston Stage Two Water Conservation Measures in accordance with the procedures outlined in Chapter 47 in the Code of Ordinances.

During Stage Two of the conservation plan, customers are required to:

* Repair all detectable leaks within 72 hours of discovery and

* Limit outdoor irrigation to the hours between 8 p.m. and 10 a.m. on NO more than two days per week according to the following schedule:

o Sundays and Thursdays for customers with even-numbered street addresses

o Saturdays and Wednesdays for customers with odd-numbered street addresses

Failure to follow requirements may result in fines. For questions or to report a violation, please call 3-1-1.

While these restrictions are mandatory, the City of Houston will begin with warnings and an informational campaign because the goal is voluntary compliance. For those who insist on not being good neighbors, citations will follow.

The City itself will also take internal water conservation measures, such as:

* Suspension of any scheduled window washing

* Suspension of any scheduled power washing of buildings, sidewalks and parking areas

* Discontinue washing city vehicles or equipment except for health, safety or critical maintenance reasons

* Order an audit of all irrigation systems for leaks to ensure proper operation of timers and sprinkler heads.

The Public Works Department website has a Daily Water Supply Monitor and continues to encourage residents to use water wisely, which will reduce the large demand on the City's water system. Using water wisely can not only save water, but also reduce water bills.

Ways to conserve water:

* Keep showers under five minutes

* Turn water off while brushing your teeth

* Wash only full loads of dishes or clothes

* Replace older model showerheads and faucet aerators with new low-flow models and install low water use toilets

* Inspect toilets for silent leaks by putting food coloring in the toilet tank. If colored water leaks into the toilet bowl before flushing, water is being lost due to a worn flapper

* Refrain from washing any vehicle or motorbike unless the dirt poses a driving hazard

* Refrain from washing down any sidewalk, walkway, driveway, parking lot or any other hard-surfaced area

* Refrain from filling, refilling or adding water to any indoor or outdoor swimming pool, spa or whirlpool.

http://www.publicworks.houstontx.gov/utilities/conservation.html

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Your not supposed to fill or re-fill your pool, but there are no exemptions in place for the pool becoming a public nuisance and the homeowner getting fined for the pool not meeting code.

The pumps don't run unless the water level is up to the skimmers. Last I checked the skimmers were in the middle of the tile line, 6" from the top of the pool.

Unless that particular restriction is referring to temporary inflatable or plastic pools - it seems like it is asking the homeowner to not comply with another section of the health departments code.

I think I will continue to fill the pool. Lake Conroe be darned.

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One of the civic asso yahoo groups mentioned there is a fine of $300.00 for watering on a day that isn't your assigned day? I wonder if the COH van that asseses leaks will now be looking for sprinkler offenders?

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* Refrain from washing any vehicle or motorbike unless the dirt poses a driving hazard

Does this apply to car wash places? Can I get a ticket if my car is deemed to be not dirty enough?

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Does this apply to car wash places? Can I get a ticket if my car is deemed to be not dirty enough?

I don't think they can impose this on businesses that utilize water to earn their income. I'll bet that a significant amount of water in car washes is recycled (don't know).

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I don't think they can impose this on businesses that utilize water to earn their income. I'll bet that a significant amount of water in car washes is recycled (don't know).

I don't think the water is recycled, but it is probably more efficient to wash your car there.

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One of the civic asso yahoo groups mentioned there is a fine of $300.00 for watering on a day that isn't your assigned day? I wonder if the COH van that asseses leaks will now be looking for sprinkler offenders?

Does the ban include watering from a can or hose or just sprinkler systems?

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Does the ban include watering from a can or hose or just sprinkler systems?

What ban? You will be able to water every which-a-way on select days between certain times.

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Do any other cities have better methods for rationing water? The current system makes you go 4 days between watering but then allows you to run your system full blast for 14 straight hours (8 pm to 10 am). But you're not allowed to run for 30 minutes every other day.

The current system also acts on the honor/snitch system. You can probably get away with watering any day in the middle of the night. And if your neighbors like you, you can probably water any time.

Wouldn't it be better just to allow each household to use an average amount of water each month with a draconian surcharge for any use over a set amount? Consumers could decide how valuable their water really is. If you can afford it, you can water all you want. And as part of the deal, the city would have to use the surcharges to help develop better water supplies or to pay more overtime to fix leaks.

I guess one disadvantage is that the rich get a special privilege, but that's nothing new. Also, someone could get a shocking water bill if they're not careful; it might be useful to tell people how to read their own water meter so they can gauge their usage. Another disadvantage is that the city might use the system as a sneaky way to increase revenue.

An advantage is that you can easily adjust the system according to the situation by changing the set point where the price goes up and by changing the rate for water over the limit. Also, there's no need for depending on the honor system or snitches; you just depend on the bill. The biggest advantage is that the system self corrects: the extra money raised by surcharges will be spent increasing water supplies and reducing leaks (I'm probably being naive here).

Do any other cities use such a market-based system?

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One of the civic asso yahoo groups mentioned there is a fine of $300.00 for watering on a day that isn't your assigned day? I wonder if the COH van that asseses leaks will now be looking for sprinkler offenders?

What if I water my lawn every day in the middle of the night when no one is around?

Edited by LTAWACS

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What if I water my lawn every day in the middle of the night when no one is around?

Did you not read that article in last weeks Chronicle about all the surveillance cameras Houston has? They are always watching.

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Do any other cities have better methods for rationing water? The current system makes you go 4 days between watering but then allows you to run your system full blast for 14 straight hours (8 pm to 10 am). But you're not allowed to run for 30 minutes every other day.

The current system also acts on the honor/snitch system. You can probably get away with watering any day in the middle of the night. And if your neighbors like you, you can probably water any time.

Wouldn't it be better just to allow each household to use an average amount of water each month with a draconian surcharge for any use over a set amount? Consumers could decide how valuable their water really is. If you can afford it, you can water all you want. And as part of the deal, the city would have to use the surcharges to help develop better water supplies or to pay more overtime to fix leaks.

I guess one disadvantage is that the rich get a special privilege, but that's nothing new. Also, someone could get a shocking water bill if they're not careful; it might be useful to tell people how to read their own water meter so they can gauge their usage. Another disadvantage is that the city might use the system as a sneaky way to increase revenue.

An advantage is that you can easily adjust the system according to the situation by changing the set point where the price goes up and by changing the rate for water over the limit. Also, there's no need for depending on the honor system or snitches; you just depend on the bill. The biggest advantage is that the system self corrects: the extra money raised by surcharges will be spent increasing water supplies and reducing leaks (I'm probably being naive here).

Do any other cities use such a market-based system?

In Amman (Jordan), the water is only on 2 days per week. Everyone does what they can those 2 days, and everyone has tanks on the top of the building that they store it up and gravity feed the other days in the week. I don't think we're ready for that. Our rivers still have water.

I think we should fine the idiots who have sprinklers on in the middle of the day. They're either dumb for not knowing how to use their timer, or dumb because they don't understand most of that water doesn't make it very far underground.

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Did you not read that article in last weeks Chronicle about all the surveillance cameras Houston has? They are always watching.

and now COH wants you to turn in your neighbor---this was at the end of this weeks Citizensnet email. . .

To report a violation of the restrictions or get answers to questions, email 311@houstontx.gov, or call 3-1-1 or 713.837.0311.

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In Amman (Jordan), the water is only on 2 days per week. Everyone does what they can those 2 days, and everyone has tanks on the top of the building that they store it up and gravity feed the other days in the week. I don't think we're ready for that. Our rivers still have water.

I think we should fine the idiots who have sprinklers on in the middle of the day. They're either dumb for not knowing how to use their timer, or dumb because they don't understand most of that water doesn't make it very far underground.

Seriously!

I've seen plenty of offices still watering their lawn space, and lots of medians with sprinklers still going.

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The current system makes you go 4 days between watering but then allows you to run your system full blast for 14 straight hours (8 pm to 10 am). But you're not allowed to run for 30 minutes every other day.

I took it to mean you can water on designated days before 10am and/or after 8 pm. After midnight would not be the same day.

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Rice Design Alliance is sponsoring a public forum on water use, and related issues, tomorrow night at the MFA.

http://ricedesignalliance.org/2011/water-challenges-facing-the-houston-region

Depending on weather patterns (la nina, etc) it's possible the extreme drought could last into next summer. Should be an interesting discussion. Water, it's the new oil.

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