Council seeks input for new water rules

By Matt Ward —

City of Fredericksburg water customers may soon see revised restrictions on outdoor watering as an overhaul of existing regulations was brought before the Fredericksburg City Council during their regular meeting Monday.

Major changes are proposed for the amount of watering time allowed in each stage as well as the number of days allowed for watering.

No vote was made on the proposed changes, with the ordinance to be placed on the council’s April 7 agenda.

City officials encouraged residents to familiarize themselves with the proposed ordinance, which is available online at www.fbgtx.org and contact the council with comments and/or suggestions before their next meeting.

While many areas of the ordinance further limit existing usage, the proposal does add daily watering in the first four stages by handheld hose, bucket or drip irrigation only between 5-9 a.m. and 7-11 p.m.

The ordinance would also allow the washing of vehicles on weekends in residential areas through Stage 4.

New hours, days

Changes to hours and days of watering are proposed in the first four stages, while stage five will continue to allow no outdoor watering.

Currently in Stages 1-4, customers are allowed to water from midnight to 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. to midnight on their designated days.

Changes to the watering restrictions would see these hours cut in half, with watering times in all four stages set from 5-9 a.m. and 7-11 p.m.

Watering in Stage 2 would change from three days per week to two days per week, Stage 3 watering would be reduced from two days per week to one day per week and Stage 4 watering would be cut to four hours per week.

Though the city is currently under Stage 4, under the new regulations, Fredericksburg is expected to drop down to Stage 3.

During the public comment portion of Monday’s meeting, concerns were raised about the proposed watering restrictions, especially the revised hours.

“I’m not setting my alarm for 4:30 in the morning so I can water in the dark,” Sonia Rivero said. “What you’ve done is that you’ve moved it so we have more watering hours in the dark. If you need to restrict the number of hours, I can appreciate that, but just shift the times so we aren’t watering in the dark.”

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