Water Fines Begin Today in Wichita Falls, So What Does That Mean?
The City of Wichita Falls is officially in stage one of water restrictions and that means we should all be doing our part to conserve water. If you don't, some pretty heft fines could be coming your way.
July 17th, 2023 Stage One Water Fines Begin
The City of Wichita Falls announced that today citizens need to be doing their part in helping conserve water. Our lake levels are currently at combined lake capacity of 64.8%. Once we go past 65%, that is when water restrictions begin.
What Changes Today in Wichita Falls?
Depending on the last number of your street address, you can water your lawn on certain days of the week. Residential addresses ending in 0,2,4,6,8 can water Mondays and Thursdays. Residential addresses ending in 1,3,5,7,9 can water on Tuesdays and Fridays. This means absolutely no watering on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Also no watering between the hours of 10AM-7PM using a sprinkler system.
What Happens If You're Caught Watering When You Should Not Be?
- First citation will be $25
- Second offense is $500
- Third offense is $2,000 (Note all these fines do not include potential court fees which are $76)
How Do You Know If You Get a Violation?
According to the City of Wichita Falls website, beginning today Employees from the Water Distribution Department are patrolling Wichita Falls. If they observe you breaking the stage one drought restrictions, you will receive an orange 'Water Violation Notice' at your property.
Where Does This Money Go?
The fines are designed to discourage discretionary water use, such as watering lawns, so citizens have enough water for health and daily living. The city only receives a portion of a fine. The State of Texas mandates that $64 of every fine be paid to the State.
What About If You Own a Business in Wichita Falls?
- Commercial car washes must use nozzles that discharge <3.0 gpm
- Restaurants cannot serve water unless asked for by the customer.
- Restaurants cannot use pre-rinse nozzles that discharge more than 1.6 gpm.
- Restaurants must have a positive shutoff on the pre-rinse nozzles.
- Ice machines cannot be single-pass or water-cooled.
- Hotels/Motels/Short term lodging must offer customers a linen reuse option displayed in all rooms.
As you can see from that chart above, our next level we don't want to get to is a warning, when our lake levels go below 50% capacity. Hopefully we don't hit that and some rain comes our way. Of course we will be keeping an eye on it and alert you when changes come down.