Twice-a-week outdoor watering restrictions will take effect June 3 for almost all of Tarrant County, the Tarrant Regional Water District said Tuesday.Even as storms dropped much-needed rain Tuesday on North Texas, the water district, which provides raw water to 98 percent of Tarrant County, said it won’t be enough to avoid hitting the trigger for Stage 1 water restrictions by early June.Stage 1 restrictions take effect when the water district’s capacity drops to 75 percent. On Tuesday, it was listed at 76 percent.Outdoor watering can account for 50 to 60 percent of daily residential water use during the summer. Without water restrictions, water usage could soar an additional 100 million gallons per day, district spokesman Chad Lorance said.Most Tarrant County cities, including Fort Worth, Arlington and Mansfield, will come under the restrictions.Residential customers whose addresses end in odd numbers will be allowed to water lawns and landscapes with sprinklers on Sundays and Thursdays. Addresses ending in even numbers may water only on Saturdays and Wednesdays.Nonresidential customers, including apartments, businesses, parks and common areas, may water only on Tuesdays and Fridays.Other Stage 1 measures include reducing the frequency of draining and filling swimming pools and hosing on paved areas. Hand watering with a can or handheld hose, soaker hoses and drip irrigation systems are permitted.Watering is still prohibited between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.Those establishing new landscapes can apply for a variance in Fort Worth. Residents who have their own water wells are excluded from the rules.“We can only enforce on our system,” Gugliuzza said.“I do want to point that we’re not telling people to water twice a week,” said Fort Worth Water Department spokeswoman Mary Gugliuzza. “We are telling them there are two days they can water.”This is second time the water district, which provides raw water to 1.8 million people, has implemented Stage 1 restrictions. The last time was in 2011. The restrictions were lifted in May 2012.Before the restrictions take effect, Gugliuzza said, residents should check whether their sprinkler system is programmed correctly.“Make sure your system is set,” Gugliuzza said. “If you’ve been watering more frequently than twice a week, now is the time to start extending the length of time between watering.”When water restrictions took effect in 2011, some residents complained that the water district and cities did not restrict gas drilling activities associated with fracking. Lorance, the water district spokesman, said oil and gas activities account for less than 1 percent of the water district’s overall water sales and have dropped since 2011 because of decreased drilling.
Bill Hanna, 817-390-7698 Twitter: @fwhanna