Tulsa, OK – The City of Tulsa broke a water usage record on Saturday, July 17, when the total water volume for the day jumped by 18 million gallons from the previous day's usage.
The total water usage of 204.1 MGD broke the previous record of 190.9 MGD set in July 1999. Water and Sewer Department Director, Clayton Edwards said, "The 24 hour spike in usage of such a large volume of water was unexpected, given the daily usage reports up to that point. The Sunday use was down slightly to 202.54 MGD."
"No official action is being taken at this point, but City officials want citizens to be aware of the record-breaking water usage and ask them to use water wisely. If the usage trend continues, it could lead to mandatory water restrictions," Edwards said.
"The City of Tulsa has ordinances that set triggers for the mayor to impose voluntary and mandatory water restrictions," he said. "We are not yet reaching those triggers but we recommend that our customers use water wisely. If we continue to hit the high 190s MGD and 200 MGD in water usage, we may need to impose a more restrictive policy. At this point, it is our hope that if Tulsans are aware of the usage and take action to conserve, we may be able to avoid mandatory restrictions."
Most of the water we use in the summer goes to landscaping, grass and flowers.
Here are just a few tips for conserving water outdoors.
Allow the grass to grow longer. Taller grass holds moisture better.
Water lawns early in the morning to minimize evaporation.
Do not over-water. Soil can hold only so much moisture and the rest runs off.
Make sure your sprinklers are set low and are watering only the lawn, rather than the sidewalks.
Use buckets of water rather than a hose to water plants.
More tips are available through Use Water Wisely Tips - 100 ways to conserve water
ODEQ tips for outdoor water and kitchen water conservation
Water rationing for the City is outlined in Title 11-C, Chapter 13, entitled restricted use of water in times of shortages. There are four stages of water restrictions:
Stage 1 - Voluntary Restrictions
The condition for Stage 1 shall exist when water usage reaches 94% of deliverability each day for 2 consecutive days. Stage 1 would be implemented when demand is 206 mgd for 2 consecutive days. Under Stage 1 conditions, customers will be asked to conserve water voluntarily by limiting outside watering to the hours between midnight and noon every other day based on odd-even house numbering.
Stage 2 - Mandatory Restriction of Outside Watering To Every Other Day
The conditions for Stage 2 shall exist when water usage reaches 97% of deliverability each day for 2 consecutive days, or 213 mgd. Under Stage 2 conditions, the Mayor can order the mandatory restriction of outside watering to the hours between midnight and noon every other day.
Stage 3 - Mandatory Restrictions of Outside Watering To Every Other Day with a Hand-Held Hose
The conditions of Stage 3 shall exist when water usage reaches 100% of deliverability each day for 2 consecutive days, or 220 mgd. Under Stage 3 conditions, the Mayor can order the mandatory restriction of outside watering to the hours between midnight and noon every other day by hand-held hose only.
Stage 4 - Mandatory Curtailment of Outside Watering
The conditions of Stage 4 shall exist when water usage exceeds deliverability each day for 2 consecutive days. Under Stage 4 conditions, the Mayor may prohibit all outside watering.
The ordinance authorizes the Mayor to restrict or prohibit the use of water by filing an order with the City Clerk, which would be immediately transmitted to the Council and the Utility Board.
Tulsa has two water treatment plants, Mohawk and A.B. Jewell, that process water for Tulsa water customers and those neighboring communities which purchase treated water from Tulsa.
Together the plants have the capacity to deliver 220 MGD.