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Residents across parts of North Texas asked to conserve water 'immediately' due to increased demand, high temps and ongoing drought conditions

The call for conservation follows a North Texas Municipal Water District request that residents across the region "immediately" reduce their outdoor water use

PLANO, Texas — The City of Plano has issued a notice to all of its residents, asking that they conserve water use through at least Wednesday, July 20.

The notice follows a similar call for conservation issued on Saturday by the city's water provider, the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD). In that ask, the NTMWD requested that all municipalities that receive the provider's purified water "immediately" reduce their water use -- and "especially outdoor water use" -- due to maintenance meant to relief stress on some of its water treatment facilities.

The Plano statement said that residents may continue watering their foundations, shrubs and trees, but asked that they refrain from watering their grass until NTMWD system is back at full strength.

According to a NTMWD water system map, the NTMWD provides water to most of Collin County, Rockwall County and Kaufman County, parts of North Dallas County, a significant portion of Hunt County and parts of Denton, Grayson, Rains, Hopkins and Van Zandt counties. 

Per the NTMWD web site, the organization provides water to two million people across 80 communities within those 10 counties.

This week's conservation effort, the NTMWD said, was the result of one of four water treatment plants at its Wylie Water Treatment Plant Complex having to unexpectedly cease producing water in order to perform the "critical maintenance [that would be] required to return the plant back to full water purification capacity."

That maintenance, the NTMWD said, involved six sedimentation basins that are used to move water particles during the treatment process. Those basins combine to produce 210 million gallons of water per day, NTMWD said. During peak water demand, NTMWD said, the accumulation of sediment accelerated and impacted the plant's ability to efficiently process water at full capacity.

The NTMWD statement added that its "precautionary call to action" was the result of a quantity issue, not a quality one -- meaning, in NTMWD's own words, its "water is safe to drink and use."

The NTMD further said that its water purification capacity "remains adequate for basic services including household use and for public safety," but noted that the region's ongoing drought conditions and increased water use has "stressed" its systems top the point of requiring immediate maintenance.

Upcoming heat conditions forecast across the region this week, the NTMWD statement continued, would only add stress to its system without maintenance.

"We’re seeing a stress on our system because of peak demands with peak weather conditions," NTMWD Director of Communications Wayne Larson told WFAA. "We are enduring a long, hot, dry summer. The forecast doesn’t seem like it will change. We are trying to manage and meet the rising peak demands of our customers."

Last week, the City of Dallas -- which maintain its own water utilities and is not part of NTMWD's operations -- issued its own statement asking residents to conserve water due to high temperatures and increased drought conditions across the area.

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