Tyler Encourages Responsible Water Use
By JACQUE HILBURN-SIMMONS
Tyler remains under voluntary water restrictions to help conserve supplies as another hot Texas summer closes in.
The city has been on voluntary restrictions since late March, easing a December order that called for mandatory cutbacks.
Tyler Public Works Director Greg Morgan said Tuesday the city is taking this proactive measure to voluntarily conserve water now for later.
"The City of Tyler currently remains under step one water conservation measures," Morgan said.
Plentiful spring rainfall helped refill East Texas lakes and recharge the soil -- two pluses going into the hot, dry months ahead -- but levels still are below normal.
"The Lake Tyler/Lake Tyler East system still remains about 2.5 feet down from a full elevation of 375.5," Morgan said. "As such, it is incumbent upon the customers of Tyler Water Utilities to remain good stewards of our environment and to utilize this natural resource in a responsible manner."
Tyler has a very stable, long-term water supply that is projected to last for decades, if people use it responsibly, officials said.
Morgan said water production and lake levels are being evaluated on a daily basis, and staff is prepared to adjust conservation measures as needed to conserve.
National Weather Service officials said Tuesday the summer months should be somewhat hotter and drier than normal, but nothing close to the withering conditions of last summer.
It is, after all, Texas.
"To quote a cliche, on the fourth of July it's going to be hotter than a firecracker," Hydrologist C.S. Ross said this week.
For fall, there are indications of a return to El Nino conditions, characterized by cooler, wet weather.
In the interim, residents are asked to limit irrigation of landscaped areas to Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays if their street address ends in an even number (0,2,4,6,8); or Saturdays, Mondays and Wednesdays if their address ends with an odd number (1,3,5,7,9).
Irrigation also should be done between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., officials said.
Tyler's pumping capacity is about 72 million gallons per day -- 8 million from deep water wells, 34 million from Lake Tyler and Lake Tyler East and 30 million from Lake Palestine.
The city of Dallas also has rights to remove water from Lake Palestine but is not yet drawing from that source, officials said.
Tyler first began calling for voluntary cutbacks last October.
At that time, Lake Tyler was 6.9 feet below spillway levels and Lake Palestine was about 5.9 feet low, records show.
Residents are asked to not waste water.
Waste is considered the elective use of water, such as washing house windows, sidings, eaves and roof with a hose without the use of a bucket, officials said.
Other types of water waste include washing driveways, streets, curbs, gutters and vehicles without a cut-off valve and bucket.
External Relations Director Susan Guthrie said residents should check their sprinkler systems to ensure they are appropriately timed and positioned.
"When you set your sprinkler systems, make sure they are not watering the streets and sidewalks," she said.
Residents also are asked to check for leaking faucets and toilets to help conserve.
To find more about, call the water department at 903-531-1234 or visit it on the web at