Stage 3 water restrictions to begin this fall

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by STEVE STOLER

WFAA

Posted on September 22, 2011 at 5:53 PM

Updated Thursday, Sep 22 at 5:59 PM

COLLIN COUNTY - The ultra-dry summer has water systems all over the state in a choke-hold. The North Texas Municipal Water District board is approving Stage 3 water restrictions.

That means people in Collin County, Mesquite and Garland would only be able to water their landscapes once every two weeks.

Lake Lavon is the main source of water for Collin County. The lake is down 11 feet. It's at 53 percent capacity, meaning it's half empty. 

The Leahman family is getting new landscaping. They just built a house just a few miles from Lake Lavon. Beginning Nov. 1, the Leahman's will only be allowed to water once every two weeks under Stage 3 restrictions.

"It's hard on us," said homeowner Laurie Leahman. "It's distressing to hear we're going to that stage."
 
Elizabeth Smidt, the Leahman's landscape architect, said her concerns go far beyond her livelihood.

"I'm worried about drinking water and being able to take showers and long, hot baths," Smidt said. "It is very frightening. And there's nothing we can do about it."

The North Texas District has another problem.

It still isn't getting water from Lake Texoma because of the zebra mussel infestation there.

More than a quarter of the water district's supply usually comes from Texoma. And with the National Weather Service prediction a continuation of drought conditions through spring, water district officials felt the time us right for more restrictions.

Grasses go dormant around November. So they require just a little water to keep them going until spring rains come.

Water district officials said it would take three straight days of heavy rain to start any rise in area lakes.

E-mail sstoler@wfaa.com

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