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October 11, 2011

Houstonians,

I want to thank you for doing your part to conserve water and respect the fire ban in city parks. Because of your efforts, water consumption is down 20% and our parks are safer from fire danger. I am also happy to report that we have made much progress addressing broken water mains. There are currently less than 400 mains needing repair, compared to this summer's high of more than 1,000 broken mains.

This past weekend's rainfall, while most welcome, did not end our drought situation. Therefore, I want to remind you that all of the water conservation and burn ban restrictions will remain in effect for the foreseeable future. Your continued cooperation is very much appreciated.

Mayor Annise Parker

Water:
Even-numbered addresses may water lawns only on Sundays and Thursdays; odd-numbered addresses may water lawns only on Saturdays and Wednesdays. Irrigation times are restricted to the hours between 12:01 a.m. and 10 a.m. and/or between 8 p.m. and midnight. Repair all detectable leaks within 72 hours of discovery. For those who insist on not being good neighbors, citations will follow.

Ways to conserve water:

  • Keep showers under five minutes
  • Turn water off while brushing your teeth
  • Wash only full loads of dishes or clothes
  • Replace older model showerheads and faucet aerators with new low-flow models and install low water use toilets
  • Inspect toilets for silent leaks by putting food coloring in the toilet tank. If colored water leaks into the toilet bowl before flushing, water is being lost due to a worn flapper
  • Refrain from washing any vehicle or motorbike unless the dirt poses a driving hazard
  • Refrain from washing down any sidewalk, walkway, driveway, parking lot or any other hard-surfaced area
  • Refrain from filling, refilling or adding water to any indoor or outdoor swimming pool, spa or whirlpool

To get additional information on ways to conserve water visit http://conservation.publicworks.houstontx.gov/. For questions and comments contact conservation@houstontx.gov or www.houstontx.gov/311/.

Fire:
The fire ban continues to apply to any type of smoking, the use of barbecue grills and all other outdoor burning in City parks during the ongoing drought. Violations carry fines of up to $2,000 per offense.

Ways to prevent fires:

  • Carelessly discarded cigarettes or other smoking materials can smolder for hours and should be completely doused with water before being discarded in a safe manner, rather than tossed out a window or on the ground
  • When using barbecue pits and grills, never leave them unattended, keep water or a fire extinguisher handy and place hot coals and ash in a non-combustible container until cooled or thoroughly saturated with water, before being disposed
  • Park vehicles so that the exhaust system does not come in contact with dry grass, leaves or weeds and adjust the safety chains on trailers to ensure they don't drag and create sparks that can cause roadside fires
  • Notify the power company when dead trees or overhanging limbs endanger electric wires. The wires may touch each other or the ground, causing sparks that start fires

For more safety tips see www.houstontx.gov/fire.



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