Frequent and numerous calls from concerned citizens prompted the city to set up a hotline for your complaints about water run-off. It's called the "No H2 O" hotline.
NewsChannel 11 caught up with the woman responsible for those calls and she's already in need of a bigger voicemail box. Meantime, if the city council approves changes to the water ordinance next month those messages could lead to fines.
While billions of gallons still remain in Lake Meredith, city officials estimate that in as few as two years we may be past the point of no return. More >>
Voice messages from the hotline already sound something like this: "There are rivers of water running off the place." and "I'd like to report water run-off almost every day."
Gaylyn Chapman, Education Coordinator for the Lubbock Water Department, has been inundated with phone calls. She says, "The calls got to the point where, since I'm the only one that handles those, I could not function in any of my other job duties."
With Lubbock's water supply running short, fed up residents created the need for the city's new hotline. Gaylyn says, "Some of them are pretty passionate about us doing something about it and as always, we wish we could." But until city hall approves proposed changes to Lubbock's water ordinance, there's nothing people like Gaylyn can do.
City commissioners are expected to approve those changes next month. If they do, Lubbock residents will see restrictions on water usage and the water department will have authority to intervene when precious water is being wasted on asphalt. Gaylyn says, "Probably the first step, we'll go through and educate them. Make sure they are aware of the situation." If the problem persists, the culprit will most likely get a letter, then another call, and eventually a fine up to $200.
Hopefully that will help all the complaints dwindle and become a thing of the past for the water department. Also, fines could increase five times to $1,000 if a water problem is deemed a risk to public safety. For example, if the water is turning to ice in the winter, or if it pools and creates a breeding ground for mosquitos carrying the West Nile virus during the summer months.
The number to the no H2 O hotline is (806) 775-3952.