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May 16, 2013

City Council approves modifying water rationing ordinance

DUNCAN — To better serve the community, the Duncan City Council has issued a change in the water rationing ordinance.

As the council discussed during its regular meeting Tuesday, council members made suggestions of changes to Stage 2 of the water rationing ordinance. The ordinance allows people to do outside watering between midnight and 9 a.m. on even days for even number addresses and odd days for odd number addresses.

Councilmen Ricky Mayes and Tommy Edwards led the discussion to change the water days to Monday, Wednesday and Friday for even number addresses and Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday for odd number addresses. The aim was to help people with irrigation systems to have an easier time to set the days their systems would water their yards, while reducing the amount of water being used.

“I’ve been approached by more than few people,” Mayes said. “Odd/even days would cost them more money. Most of them only want to water twice a week.”

Mayes said the sprinkler systems having the most issues with the even/odd days are those with older controllers. He said those can be set for the day of the week instead of set to go off every other day.

Edwards said less water would be used by modifying the ordinance to allow people to water their lawns only three times a week. Sunday would be used for water flower beds and gardens between midnight and 9 a.m., but would not allow for lawns to be watered.

Scott Vaughn, Public Works director, said this is only the second time since he’s been with the City of Duncan that he’s been through a period of water rationing. Vaughn became Public Works director in 1994.

“We’re trying to conserve water,” Vaughn said. “We’re at 50 percent of our municipal supply.”

The ordinance, which was Vaughn’s doing, was modeled after the ordinance Lawton has used. Vaughn said he also looked at what Wichita Falls, Texas, has done in the past, and that city has used a similar ordinance, too.

Vaughn said Lake Humphreys and Waurika Lake are down to 50 percent capacity. There are the two lakes Duncan is getting its water supply from. He didn’t comment on the other Duncan lakes.

Mayor Gene Brown said the water rationing ordinance is an important part to keeping Duncan able to support its community.

“We’re trying to be proactive and do something about it,” Brown said. “We’re trying to save some of our trees and plants and grass.”

David Hammond, city attorney, said he could have a new ordinance prepared for the council to approve at its next regular meeting in two weeks. Hammond, along with Brown and Councilman Mike Nelson, requested the ordinance be kept simple to make it easier for the average customer to know what they can and cannot do based on the ordinance.

Nelson was concerned about changing the ordinance because he wasn’t sure how it would impact Duncan residents.

“I like the Monday, Wednesday, Friday, but I admire the simplicity of the odd/even,” Nelson said. “My recommendation is to keep it simple.”

The council did approve changing the ordinance to allow people at even address to water Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and people at odd addresses to water Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. The watering times will continue to be from midnight to 9 a.m.

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