Summer heat continues to cause problems with Houston's water supply

Chaz Miller Image
Wednesday, August 23, 2023
Summer heat continues to cause problems with Houston's water supply
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The excessive heat this summer continues to cause problems with Houston's water supply, according to Mayor Sylvester Turner.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- It sounds like more water restrictions could be coming your way if you live in the City of Houston.

That's according to Mayor Sylvester Turner at Wednesday's city council meeting.

The city has four stages in its drought contingency plan, which is currently in the first stage.

Stage one asks single-family, residential customers to voluntarily limit watering their yards to twice a week from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Stage two is mandatory, and it sounds like it could be on the horizon.

"I do anticipate something coming out on that very soon because it doesn't seem like we can get a break," Turner said about the heat. "It's going to be hot for a minute, and so we have to manage this crisis."

Eyewitness News asked the city's public works department if that means stage two of their plan was imminent, but weren't provided a specific answer.

The department did say it's noticed lower water pressure across the city.

What happens if stage two goes into effect?

Single-family, residential customers could only water their yards on Sunday and Thursday from 7 p.m. to 8 a.m. if their home address ends in an even number.

Odd-numbered homes would be limited to Saturday and Wednesday, and all other customers would be allowed to water outdoors on Tuesday and Friday.

Customers who get caught watering outside of those times would face fines and citations.

"We're just having to manage this situation as we move forward," Turner said.

There's also the issue of broken pipes in the city's water infrastructure.

"We need additional contractors to deal with water main leaks," Turner said.

ABC13 reported in the spring that the city had recently approved a total of $28 million to hire outside contractors to repair water main breaks.

Eyewitness News asked what new ones would cost in light of the mayor's comments on Wednesday, but weren't given an answer.

We also didn't receive numbers when asking about the city's average daily leaks.

Daily leaks were around 1,000 at the beginning of the year but got down to less than 100 in early June. On July 17, the average was about 208.

The City of Houston Public Works Department said it'll be releasing more information "shortly" on issues related to broken pipes, drought contingency, and water conservation.

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