RICHARDSON — Kenneth Gordon's Richardson home is hard to miss. His front door just barely peeks out from a forest of exotic flowers, shrubs, potted plants and bushes. They are the pride and joy of Gordon and his wife Stella.

"If she's not watering them, she's feeding them, or planting new ones," Gordon said."She spends hours and hours out here. It's her passion."

They also have what looks like a backyard arboretum. They water by hand now, but Gordon said he's ready for a break in the Stage 3 water restrictions that only allowed sprinklers once every two weeks.

Starting Labor Day, the North Texas Municipal Water District will permit watering once a week until the end of October.

"I think it's wonderful! It's great!" he said. "Maybe it will look even better."

Customers have done such a good job of conservation that the water district said loosening restrictions is necessary to maintain water quality.

Here's why: If water sits too long in pipes, the chlorine used to sanitize it isn't as effective. Then, cities have to flush hydrants to remove stale water.

Once-a-week irrigation increases water flow in and improves circulation.

The Gordons' plant paradise has been harder to maintain under the restrictions, but he said this summer's heat wasn't as devastating as the previous two years,

"Actually, we probably have more damage to the plants from bugs," he said.

But at least now if they can't soak up the rain, they can get a good soaking more often.