The City of Galveston informed Friday that, although its storage tanks rose overnight, it will maintain current water use restrictions during the weekend.
The City explained in a news release that its utility crews had shut off water to over 945 locations due to pipes that have leaks.
The pipes froze because of the frigid temperatures southeast Texas experienced this week.
Jaree Fortin, a spokeswoman with the City, explained that the first freeze happened on Tuesday night.
“We started getting phone calls the following morning as people were waking up. And then the pipes continued to stay frozen throughout Wednesday,” added Fortin.
The City’s news release noted that “with the help of our residents and businesses and their conservation efforts, the City storage tanks did rise overnight,” but added that nevertheless local officials anticipated the need to stay in Stage 4 of the Drought Contingency Plan during the weekend.
Stage 4 of the Drought Contingency Plan restricts residents and businesses from all non-essential water use.
“We have many second homes on the Island. We need our residents to report any leaks they might see over the next few days,” said City Manager Brian Maxwell.
“As you walk your neighborhood be aware. This type of team of effort is what we need to help us identify the issues that are causing our water losses,” Maxwell added.
The City underscored i its news release that Galveston residents and businesses can also help with conservation efforts by being vigilant and aware.
Residents can report leaks online at www.galvestontx.gov/freeze, via email at email@example.com, or by calling 409-797-3550.
The City’s news release also reminded residents and businesses that it is prepared to forgive any excess use due to broken water lines on all customers' bills before they are mailed.
Although repairs and shut offs on the customers side of the meter are typically the customer's responsibility, due to the nature of the event and the limited availability of plumbers locally, City crews were assisting Galveston residents on Friday by turning off the water supply to their homes.
Nonetheless, residents still need to contact a plumber to help with repairs, as well as to turn the water supply back on.
Things You Can Be Fined for During Stage 4 of the Drought Contingency Plan
- Irrigation of landscaped areas can only be done on Mondays and Thursdays for customers on the East side of them City (east of 103rd Street), and Wednesdays and Saturdays for water customers on the West side of the City (west of 103rd Street). Irrigation of landscaped areas with potable water shall be limited to designated watering days between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. OR between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 10 p.m., and shall be by means of hand-held hoses, hand-held buckets, or drip irrigation only.
- Use of potable water to wash any motor vehicle, motorbike, boat, trailer, airplane or other vehicle not occurring on the premises of a commercial car wash and commercial service stations and not in the immediate interest of public health, safety, and welfare is prohibited. Further, such vehicle washing using potable water at commercial car washes and commercial service stations shall occur only between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. and between 6:00 p.m. and 10 p.m.
- The filling, refilling, or adding of water to swimming pools, wading pools, and Jacuzzi‐type pools is prohibited.
- Operation of any ornamental fountain or pond for aesthetic or scenic purposes is prohibited except where necessary to support aquatic life or where such fountains or ponds are equipped with a recirculation system.
- Unless specifically approved by the Director of Municipal Utilities, no application for new, additional, expanded, or increased‐in‐size water service connections, meters, service lines, pipeline extensions, mains, or water service facilities of any kind shall be approved, and time limits for approval of such applications are hereby suspended for such time as this drought response stage or a higher‐numbered stage shall be in effect.
- The use of water for construction purposes from designated fire hydrants by special permit is prohibited, except with the written permission of the Director of Municipal Utilities.
- The following uses of potable water are considered non-essential in Stage 2 and are prohibited unless services are being provided by a third party for profit company: 1. wash down of any sidewalks, walkways, driveway, parking lot, tennis courts, or other hard surfaced areas; 2. use of water to wash down buildings or structures for purposes other than immediate fire protection; 3. use of water for dust control, except as permitted by the Director of Municipal Utilities
- All restaurants are prohibited from serving water to patrons except on patron request.
If you have a leak, here's what you need to know...
- If you called on Wednesday, January 18th or Thursday, January 19th and have not received a call back you will likely hear back from them Thursday evening or Friday, January 20th. With the high volume of calls, customer service representatives are working late into the evenings to return phone calls from customers.
- City crews will assist homeowners with turning the water to their home off, however, repairs and turning the water back on will need to be made by a licensed plumber.
- If you still need to report a leak, please help us lower the call volume by using this form: www.galvestontx.gov/freeze or emailing your information to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you reported a leak, your February bill for January consumption will be automatically adjusted. The City will take an average of your usage over the last 12 months and that will be the amount due for January. January bills will be received in February and due in March.
Ways you can help...
- Conservation is going to be key! Residents and businesses are being asked to help by conserving water. You can find numerous ways to conserve on the city's website at www.galvestontx.gov/meetwalter.
- If you have a question concerning your utility bill please consider using the form on our website at www.galvestontx.gov/utilitybilling or emailing email@example.com to help keep the phone lines open for those customers who have an immediate need.
For additional questions or concerns please call the City Manager's Office at 409-797-3520.