HHH Making Changes to Conserve Water

- The Hotter'N Hell Hundred 2014 weekend officially kicks-off Thursday with the consumer show.  And by shelling out extra cash for the big ride this year, organizers are, like all of us, finding ways to make sure every drop counts.

Some water conservation methods will be continued while some new ones will be started. And, some of those changes will cost about $7,000.

It takes a lot of water to keep as many as 14,000 bicyclists hydrated, and that task gets even tougher with tight water restrictions.

“We had to buy additional tanks so we can haul water to places we've never hauled before,” says Roby Christie with HHH.

Each year organizers haul about 10 500-gallon tanks around to rest stops and medical tents to provide drinking water, water for Powerade mixes, and to help cool off riders.

The rest of the water has been collected by fire hydrants or from volunteers who allow the spigots in their yard to be used. But low lake levels and high water costs have forced organizers to stop doing that.

“We think that nobody in Wichita Falls should waste a drop,” says Christie.

Instead they bought 10 additional tanks and trailers and all the water will be purchased from the Reilly Road Fill Station. And what isn't used during the events will still be recycled.

“We're gonna pump it into holding tanks that can re-purposed for other uses,” says Christie.

Christie says years ago riders would be sprayed down at the finish line.

“A thirty foot wide spray people were under it all day long, people laying in the water, talking, eating it was awesome people loved it. They would stay really cool that way,” says Christie.

That stopped in 2011 when this record drought started and it will not be brought back this year either. But the mist stations will still be used for health and safety reasons.

“They don't use a lot of water, it's such a fine mist,” says Christie.

Christie says, despite the changes, there will be plenty of water provided to make sure everyone involved enjoys a safe and fun Hotter'N Hell. Bottled water will also be handed out at two rest stops and at the finish line.

The consumer show is at the MPEC. It starts at 3 p.m. Thursday, and goes through Saturday at 4 p.m.

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