Many of us remember the summer of 2011 in East Texas. That year we experienced some brutal heat across the area with no rain and no clouds to shield us from the sun. Our shade trees didn't even help. That summer of 2011, Tyler had a 46 day streak of above 100 degree temperatures, including two in a row above 110. Longview had two 19 day streaks above 100 degrees in 2011. Its not that bad this summer in East Texas but its close. This current drought has brought water restrictions for many including a new mandatory restriction for those in Smith County.

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As of today, July 26, Southern Utilities Company, which covers Smith County and Laird Hill Systems, has enacted Stage Two: Mandatory Water Rationing.

What does this mean?

This is Stage Two of the Drought Contingency Plan. This plan calls for mandatory restrictions of residential and recreational water use including:

  • Home window and siding washing
  • Driveway washing
  • Vehicle and boat washing (unless using a bucket)
  • Watering the lawn
  • Refilling swimming pools or hot tubs

Watering your lawn is not completely cut off during these water restrictions but can only be done during a certain time and on a specific day:

  • Even numbered addresses - Tuesdays only between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.
  • Odd numbered addresses - Thursdays only between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

There are consequences to not following these restrictions. Anyone who has dealt with the water company knows they don't play when it comes to not following their rules:

  • First violation - customer will be given written notification
  • Second violation - a flow restricting device will installed to limit water use with up to a $50 charge to install and remove the device
  • Third violation and beyond - water service will be shut off for seven days or until the of the month, whichever is less

These restrictions will remain in effect indefinitely. You have probably already received notice of these restrictions and you will receive notice when the restrictions are lifted. Until then, pray, do a rain dance, whatever you feel appropriate to bring some rain and cooler temperatures to East Texas.

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