PLANO –– More than 1.5 million North Texas Municipal Water District customers will once again be restricted to the amount of water they use beginning June 1.
The district board on Friday voted to implement Stage 3 restrictions, meaning homes and businesses will only be able to water once a week. But when the water restrictions take effect on June 1, not everyone will have to water just once a week, including parts of a Plano neighborhood.
Last year, Lakeside on Preston homeowners noticed sprinklers working on non-watering days. But when they called to complain, neighbors discovered Lakeside uses its own water supply from a lake to irrigate common areas.
Lakeside is just one on a growing list of businesses who are exempt from water restrictions by using their own private water, including the Campus at Legacy and the Shops at Legacy.
"I think it's wonderful," said Debi Kaiser, a Lakeside homeowner. "I think it's nice they're able to do that because a lot of it is like using a rain barrel, but on a large scale."
When Stage 3 restrictions take effect, Plano homeowners will be restricted to using sprinklers once a week. But that won't hold apply to the City of Plano's 1,200 acres of parks.
"Many people can water after six o'clock at night when you get home from work," said Jim Fox, Plano’s Parks Director. "The parks are in use on the evenings and weekends."
Plano has a city ordinance that allows the parks to water a few times a week. Fox says some of the city's largest parks have hundreds of sprinkler stations, where most houses have a dozen or less.
"Russell Creek Park, for example, has 500 to 600 irrigation stations," says Fox. "Needless to say, we can't run all those in one night."
Even though the folks at Plano City Hall may not follow the same restrictions most of their taxpayers do, they claim they’re good stewards of the water supply, and will try to meet the water district's goal of saving 10 percent of their usage during Stage 3.