Cedar Park residents will join the other Central Texas communities moving to once-a-week watering restrictions — though they shouldn’t expect much of a break on their water bill.
The City Council voted Thursday evening to enact Stage 3 watering restrictions on Aug. 1, a historic move in a community that had long allowed watering at least twice a week. The move comes in response to plummeting levels in Lake Travis, where the city gets most of its water. Levels are approaching the 618-foot mark, which would trigger mandatory Stage 3 restrictions from the Lower Colorado River Authority.
The lake’s historic low is 614 feet, reached in 1951.
“We are being responsible and proactive by entering Stage 3,” said Katherine Woerner, director of community affairs, who oversees the city’s Resource Efficiency Division. “It is very important that our customers get used to their new watering schedule now and adhere to it. Together, we can make it through this drought and not overburden our water supply and system.”
At the same time, the city plans to raise its utility rates to avoid a drop in revenue as customers start using less water.
“A reduction in water does not mean a reduction in cost” of running the system, Sam Roberts, assistant city manager of utilities and public works, told the council Thursday.
The proposed 9 percent increase would add about $3.80 a month to the average residential water bill, according to data presented at the City Council meeting.
The restrictions will be lifted when Lake Travis has seen a sustained period of increasing levels, Woerner said. Utility rates will also likely drop back down.
People who violate the restrictions will get a warning letter the first time, followed by fines of $50 to $200 for residential customers and $200 to $1,000 for commercial customers.
Effective Aug. 1, Cedar Park will move to a once-a-week watering schedule. Customers may water their lawns before 10 a.m. or after 7 p.m. on their designated day:
Residents east of Lakeline Boulevard: Odd addresses on Saturday; even addresses on Sunday.
Residents west of Lakeline Boulevard and in the Blockhouse subdivision: Odd addresses on Wednesday; even addresses on Thursday.
Businesses east of Lakeline Boulevard: Friday.
Businesses west of Lakeline Boulevard: Tuesday.
For other details visit www.cedarparktexas.gov.