Dropping Lake Levels to Soon Ban Wichita Falls Car Washes from Using City Water

Some of the prayers for rain were answered yesterday, but not much of it fell in the watershed.
And Wichita Falls car wash businesses are keeping a close eye on the lake levels because when they fall 20 percent, they will be cut off from the city water.
Mechell Dixon talked to car wash owners today and joins with more on if owners are getting a little concerned at this point.

The 20 car washes in the city may soon be looking for another water supply if they want to stay open because the possibility of shutting down completely is shifting concern around town into high gear.

When Stage 5 water restriction started in Wichita falls on May 17th car washes were hit with a major restriction.
They had to close down two days each week instead of one.
But they may soon be hit with a more devastating mandate when the combined levels of Lakes Arrowhead and Kickapoo reach 20-percent.

"Car washes will no longer be allowed to take water from the city system. .. from the city's potable water system," says Russell Schreiber, Wichita Falls public works director.

All American Super Car Wash managers say  they have been searching for options to keep the company's 75 employees collecting a paycheck when that mark is reached.

"We've looked at many different options, as far as hauling water, using well water, those types of things.  And, we'll continue to research those to find out what's best for our customers, our employees and the long-term viability of our business," says Jim Caddott , general manager at All American Super Car Wash.

Washing a car may take a backseat with many drivers now that Stage 5 restriction are in effect but for some businesses, like car dealerships, washing a car is a little more important.

"People expect their cars to be clean when they buy it but also when they're out shopping. They want to see the bright, shiny cars.  So, we do everything and it helps sales to have clean cars on the lot," explains Ted Turner, with Patterson Honda.

But some car owners, like Helena Wise, say water conservation should come before clean cars

"We need to conserve all the water that we have so I completely understand not being able to wash your car at all," Wise says.

Again, Wichita Falls car washes can no longer use city water once combined lake levels reach 20-percent.
And those levels are currently at 22.7 percent.

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