Plano to get 'watering holiday' for conservation efforts - Dallas News |

Plano to get 'watering holiday' for conservation efforts

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One North Texas city has been conserving so much water, the people who live there are getting a watering holiday.

The City of Plano has asked its residents to cut back on water use for over a year now.

They've only been able to water their lawns every other week. But next week, they'll get a free day because the city needs to circulate the water to keep it clean and drinkable.

The city hoped for a 15 to 20 percent reduction in water usage -- it got 40. That means too much water is sitting in city tanks.

“The problem is, during the hot weather, the quality goes down a lot quicker than it does the rest of the year, so if we're not using that water, that water can start to get bad,” said Jerry Cosgrove, Plano Director of Public Works.

Then the city is stuck dumping water from fire hydrants.

“To maintain the quality of water so it's safe for them to drink, we have to do this from time to time,” said Cosgrove.

The water reduction is a catch-22 because while people are using less, the city is now short $11 million.

“The loss is from reduction in the amount of water people are using, so they're paying us less money for that water,” said Cosgrove.

So to encourage residents to empty the tanks, the city is giving even-numbered addresses the first-ever water holiday beginning Thursday, July 17, and odd-numbered addresses on Tuesday, July 22.

Even if it rains between now and then, the water holiday remains in effect.

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