Recent rainfall and decrease in water consumption allowed the city of Huntsville to lift a nearly four-month voluntary water restrictions period, according to the city’s website.
Voluntary restrictions, which had been implemented in early July after a pump failed at the Trinity River Authority facility, causing a more than 15 percent reduction in water production, were lifted on Friday, Oct. 18. The failed pump was repaired and put back in use on July 30.
The city had asked residents to cut down on unnecessary outdoor watering, like filling pools, watering lawns and washing sidewalks. The voluntary restrictions, Reed said, are typically successful until people return to their regular summer watering habits.
But with the fall season in full swing, weather conditions are impacting citizen water use.
The city’s Water Conservation and Drought Contingency Plan allows Stage 1 voluntary water restrictions to be rescinded when average daily water consumption falls below 10 million gallons a day for a period of five consecutive days and weather conditions are not considered to be in drought classification.
Stage 2 water restrictions, or mandatory water reduction measures, are put in place when usage reaches 10.6 million gallons per day.
While also considering other water supply and weather factors, the voluntary restrictions could be reinstated if the 10-day average daily water use jumps back up to 10 million gallons.
City ends water chlorination process
The city’s maintenance on water distribution, which primarily included water main flushing to help maintain a bacteria free environment in the system, ends today.
What city staff called a routine maintenance process began Oct. 2 as a brief disinfectant adjustment recommended by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, according to Water Services Superintendent Joyce Hubbard.
The city normally uses a combination of surface water and groundwater with chloramine disinfection – a mixture of chlorine and ammonia – to treat the water.
Since Oct. 2, the city has used chlorine only, while shutting off the ammonia at the Trinity River Authority water plant. Chlorine is a slightly stronger disinfectant than chloramines. Water customers had been cautioned that a slight change in taste or smell, and even discoloration, could be noticeable in the city’s tap water, but the treatment would actually make the water safer for consumption.