Odd, even water schedules stressed

Published 9:14 pm Friday, June 3, 2011

City officials are asking for a little help from Troy residents.

“If they could just stick to the odd/even watering schedule … it would help us right now during this extreme drought,” said Mike Davis, water and sewer superintendent.

The odd/even schedule is a voluntary program in which residents with addresses ending in an odd number agree to water lawns on odd days of the month; residents with addresses ending in an even number agree to water lawns on even days.

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By adhering to this schedule, residents can significantly reduce the demand on the city’s water system.

“It’s not that we don’t have the water,” Davis said. “But we need to let our motors at our wells rest. Several wells are pumping 24 hours a day right no,w and they need to rest.”

Temperatures inside pump houses at the city’s five well sites can reach more than 110 degrees when outside temperatures hit the high 90s. And those internal temps put even more demand on the pump motors, Davis said. “We just need to give them time to cool down.”

The city’s water system relies on a reserve tank system that holds up to 4.5 million gallons of water in storage. When demand on the system increases, such as on May 31 when the wells pumped more than 4.8 million gallons in one 24-hour period, Davis said the storage reserves must be tapped.

“We basically lost 300,000 gallons of water that day,” he said. “And we’ve got to wait for demand to slow down and the pumps to catch up … or rain … to refill that reserve.”

And when dealing with water supply and demand, the little factors can make a big difference – including something as simple as reprogramming a sprinkler system.

Davis said a sprinkler system will use between 2,000 and 3,000 gallons per hour when watering “an average yard in Troy.”

“If you just figure at 3,000 gallons an hour, if you have 100 people watering in any day, then you’re consuming 300,000 gallons of water,” he said. “It would make all the difference if people would adhere to the odd/even watering schedule,” Davis said, adding that residents who need help reprogramming their sprinkler system can call him at 670-6031.