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Stage 3 Drought Restrictions on Horizon

Wichita Falls City leaders say the possibility of Stage 3 Drought restrictions may become a reality within the next few weeks.
Even though this summer was wetter than last, Stage 3 Drought restrictions are almost inevitable.

"With the recent rains, it's pushed it back a week or so, so probably the third week of October is my guess," said Mayor Glenn Barham.

Mayor Barham said the biggest impacts under Stage 3 Drought restrictions will be higher surcharges for excessive water use.

Also, residents can only water their yards with sprinklers between midnight and 5am.

Golf courses will no longer be able to water their fairways, and restaurants can't hose down their kitchens.

But businesses which some say will be most affected, are car washes.

Under Stage 3 restrictions, car washes will be forced to shut down one day a week.

For companies like All-American Car Wash, the shutdown would mean up to 3000 fewer cars a month, which totals around $15,000.

"We'd still have enough hours to go around,and the guys are getting a lot of hours so it wouldn't affect them as much," said Chris Ayres, Manager of All American's Kell Boulevard location, "but hopefully it's just short-term and we'll get past it real quick."

All American already does its part to conserve, by re-cycling the water being used and installing low volume nozzles.

"You would think this being a big car wash, it'd be using a whole lot of water," explained Ayres, "but the fact is it only takes about 40 gallons to wash your car here. Where, if you do it in your driveway or a self-serve car wash, it takes over 100 [gallons] easy."

Mayor Barham said the community should follow All American's lead to conserve as much water as possible now, because "unless we can get some significant rains over the Fall, Winter and Spring," said Barham, "next Summer is going to be worrisome."

Reporter's Notes by Ryan Robertson:

The City of Wichita Falls will mail out letters to residents about two weeks before Stage 3 Drought restrictions will go into affect.

Mayor Barham said those letter will out-line the restrictions, and the fines residents could face for breaking them.

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