Water Ordinance Raises Questions on Summertime Traditions - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/18/04

Water Ordinance Raises Questions on Summertime Traditions

It's a summer-time tradition, a sight you can see across the nation.  When the temperatures rise, kids can't resist cooling off under a nice cool sprinkler. Depsite Lubbock's new water ordinance, it looks like the tradition is safe for now.

On Tuesday, NewsChannel 11 found Anna, Jaden and Ben doing what kids do best on a hot summer day, while parent and daycare provider, Amy Gortney, wondered if it's legal.  She says, "I don't know. They haven't said anything, they just said don't water your lawn so I don't know if that includes pools or sprinklers or whatever."

Guidelines For New Water Ordinance
Read all the details on Lubbock's New Water Ordinance.

Gaylyn Chapman, of the Lubbock Water Department says, "If you're out there watering it and the kids finish and you turn the water off, I really think that's more what it's (the ordinance) intended to do." Chapman says sprinklers, slip-n-slides and other water toys are still subject to it's rules, but as long as they're monitored and shut off promptly, you're unlikely to be fined.

However, Chapman has hope residents would still practice restraint between 10 A.M. and 6 P.M. She asks, "Why would you want your kids out in the middle of the heat of the day?  It's not good from a sun standpoint, so why not let them go in after 6:00?" 

But try telling that to kids who don't plan on giving up their sprinkler at all during those hot West Texas days. Gortney says, "During the day it's so hot and they want to play outside and they have to have something to do and it's just too hot not to have the water."

Beyond summer fun, the water department has been getting a lot of calls asking: 'How long should I water my lawn?' That's a question they can't answer, but you can figure it out simply with a tuna can or catfood can. The can is about an inch tall so just put it under your sprinklers and then time how long it takes to fill up.  Multiply that by how many inches of water your lawn requires and there's your answer. 

If you're wondering how you know how many inches of water your lawn requires, it depends on type of grass and soil. You can ask a landscaper to help you figure that out.  

How Much Water Does Your Type of Grass Need?
A complete chart showing you how much you should water your lawn based upon

Also, a reminder: It is illegal to water your lawn between 10 A.M. and 6 P.M. during daylight savings time. First time violators will receive a warning. After that you could receive a fine of up to $500. You can water your lawn by hand or with a soaker hose. You can also water newly planted grass.

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