Stage 5 Restrictions Go Through a Variety of Changes

- Wichita Falls city councilors know every drop counts, and have set the stage 5 water restrictions.

City council voted to enact the new restrictions when lakes hit 25%. They are now at 26 %.

Two changes were made, one to the restrictions on car washes and one to the restrictions on pools and hot tubs.

Both issues were discussed in detail in the meeting, and councilors made the decision after some business owners spoke out.

The water resources commission suggested councilors close car washes 3 days a week with limited hours and ban the refilling of all outdoor pools and hot tubs with city water.

But at Tuesday’s city council meeting, councilors brought a slightly different set of rules to the table, only shutting down car washes on Sunday and Monday.

And throughout the course of the meeting, those restrictions changed even more, as some residents spoke out.

Like the owner of Outback Pools and Spa.

“My entire annual sales of hot tubs required in one year 10,500 gallons of water from the city of Wichita Falls. When we fill a spa of three hundred gallons on the average size and 35 units was my total sales, it doesn't add up to a lot of water,” says Paul Buckingham.

After hearing what Buckingham had to say, councilors decided that hot tubs can be refilled, unlike outdoor pools.

The other change comes after the owner of a self-service car wash spoke out, saying he is fine with having to shut down two days a week but the proposed 7 to 7 time limit, just would not work.

“It's not something you just put on a timer. We have to literally go down, turn the electric off, plumbing on top of, maybe someones in a bay, he's taking time, put a little extra soap on his car sponge then wiping it off. It's gonna be hard to run him out of that bay at 7 o'clock,” says Chuck Bradley.

Councilors again decided that an amendment could fix that issues, sticking with closing car washes two days a week but taking away the 7 to 7 time limit. So now car washes can open Tuesday through Saturday, at any or all hours.

Now city officials expect stage 5 to go into affect within the next 3-4 weeks. 

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