Wednesday, June 16, 2004
Flagler Beach commission tightens water restrictions
By SCOTT WYLAND | News-Journal Staff Writer
FLAGLER BEACH — Residents must be stingier with the water they use to moisten their lawns and vegetation this summer.
Commissioners voted 5-0 Thursday night to impose Level 1 restrictions to help ease what some officials describe as a serious water shortage within the city.
It’s the first time the city has gone to Level 1 conservation since June 2001.
“The water quality is really getting bad,” said Jim Ramer, superintendent of the city’s water plant.
Residents in odd-numbered addresses can water their yards from 4 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. People with even-numbered addresses can water their yards during the same hours, Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. Friday is a no-watering day.
Flagler Beach has year-round restrictions that bar residents from watering their lawns between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., city clerk Angie Apperson said. The new rule mostly decreases the number of days per week a person can water their vegetation.
Water customers will receive notice of their restrictions in their monthly bills.
“This has been coming a long time,” Commissioner Bob Mish said. “We do not have the water supply to meet the growth.”
Nobody wants to hear the “M-word” — moratorium — when it comes to watering their landscaping, said Mish, but it’s not a far-off possibility.
Mish said he’d like the city to jump right into Level 2, which would curb outdoor water use to two days a week.
But City Attorney Charlie Cino said commissioners should stick to voting on Level 1 because that’s what was on the agenda.
They can consider stricter measures later, he said.
Palm Coast, which has been at Level 1 for about two years, recently tightened restrictions to Level 2.
Commissioner Randy Busch noted that enforcement might be a challenge. Residents should follow the guidelines on their own because conserving water is crucial, Busch said.
“We need to have all the citizens work with us on this,” Busch said.
A large portion of outdoor watering is done by irrigation, which is run through a separate meter.
Commissioners have discussed the possibility of the city issuing no new irrigation meters. Current users would be grandfathered in.
Richard Price, a former commissioner, said the city should remove all irrigation meters because they encourage excessive watering.
Mish said people must do their part to head off a crisis, such as replacing landscaping that demands a lot of water.
“We are faced with a critical situation in this county,” Mish said.
HICI Special Report — Water: Will It Last?