New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - July 7, 2005, New Braunfels, Texas
CONTINUED FROM Page 1A
Lack of rain creating fire hazard
really, really dry. No outdoor burning should he taking place because of these conditions.”
Manford said the county’s fire chiefs and other public safety officials have reported extremely dry conditions.
“Jeremy Van Ausdall, the Spring Branch lire chief, said the other day they had about three brushfires,” Manford said. “One burned up to a mobile home and burned the skirting on the trailer.”
Canyon Lake Fire/EMS, Manford said, had five fires the same day.
Deputy Fire Marshal Wayne Ellington reported his yard was so dry he left footprints in his grass.
“They tell you when you can see that, it’s really, really dry," Manford said. “You need to water.”
Manford cautioned that in the hot, dry conditions it would be extremely easy for a fire to get out of control.
“The drier we get, the more the fire threat,” Manford said.
No water restrictions yet
At New Braunfels Utilities, Communications Manager Gretchen Reuwer reported no water restrictions—yet.
NBH, like the San Antonio Water System and other major utilities and purv eyors, goes by the How of the Comal Springs and the height of Edwards Aquifer water at the I-17 well located on Fort Sam I louston.
If the spring flow is below 250 cubic feet-per-second, or the water level in the well goes below 650 feet above mean sea level, Stage I water restrictions are imposed.
"Historically, summer is when our highest water use occurs,” Reuwer said. “The aquifer can drop by as much as a foot a day.”
Edwards Aquifer Authority Ifriblic Information Manager Margaret Garcia said die water level in the aquifer was 677 feet at 8 a.m. Wednesday.
The aquifer dropped two-tenths of a foot overnight, and has been dropping about six inches a day on average, Garcia said. In June, the aquifer fell 12.5 feet.
“We are still at 16.5 feet above the historic monthly average for July, which is 660.5 feet,” Garcia said. “We’re still doing pretty good, but if you consider half a foot a day, no rain in sight and the huge demand on the aquifer, we’re good for about 32 days. We’re just hoping for rain and encouraging everyone to conserve.”
The last time water restrictions were imposed here was in August 2000, when the aquifer dipped below 650 feet, kicking offstage I restrictions, in which water purveyors are required to reduce pumpage by 5 percent. In September of that year, the aquifer dipped below 640 feet, bringing Stage 2 restrictions, in which pumpage was
I arrested after 2-hour standoff
A two hour-long standoff after a suspected assault ended without incident early Wednesday — as a SWAT team was preparing to deal with the situation.
New Braunfels police detective John Bios said the incident unfolded at about 10:25 p.m. after officers were dispatched to the 400 block of I fill Street for a reported disturbance. As they were en route, a report came in that there might have been a stabbing.
Officers approaching the neighborhood heard what they believed were gunshots.
When they arrived at the residence, officers found Joe Fuentes, 32, outside, and arrested him on a public intoxication allegation.
“It was then determined that the owner had barricaded himself in the residence, and he ended up being the victim,” Bios said.
Initially, the man refused to cooperate with police, and die Comal County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team was called to bring him out of the building.Thursday, July 7, 2005 — Herald-Zeitung — Page 5A
ordered reduced by IO percent.
“That was the year we enacted a sprinkler ban for two weeks. We had restrictions from the beginning of summer through November. We’re hoping not to get to that point,” Garcia said. “We think if people are mindful of die way they use water, don’t water landscaping during the day, run only full loads of laundry and dishes, don’t let water run down the sink while brushing your teeth and take shorter showers. All those diings would be helpful.”
This summer, the aquifer is still doing well, Garcia said.
“We’re above the average,” Garcia said. "Theres still time to change peoples’ habits and time for rain. We’re hoping Mother Nature helps us out.” Overwatering of lawns, Garcia said, is a big concern. Many modern turfs do not require the water once lavished on St. Augustine grass.
“A lot of people overwater. Much of the grass used today doesn’t need the water that grass used to,” Garcia said. “Your lawn probably only needs an inch of water every week or so. Don’t overwater.” Another problem, she said,
is watering during the daytime.
“What happens is most evaporates before it hits your grass,” Garcia said. “If you do it early in the morning or late in the evening, you have a better chance of making sure it soaks into your lawn.”
Out at the hot and dusty Dietert place, they don’t use water for landscaping that doesn’t feed the animals — which means they don’t water the lawn.
“I mowed it two weeks ago, and it don’t even have to be mowed yet,” Dietert said. “There’s no water there for it.”
WATER SAVING TIPS
■ Ensure that sprinklers are not watering concrete or paved surfaces and that water is not running down the street. Adjust the angle of the spray and the length of time that sprinklers are allowed to run to prevent water waste from occurring.
■ lf you have a sprinkler system, turn it on, check all sprinkler heads for damage and replace immediately if needed. Consider the installation of a rain sensor on your sprinkler system.
■ Use an evaporation cover on your swimming pool when not in active use.
■ Take a quick shower rather
than a bath and save an average of 20 gallons of water.
■ Install a water-efficient showerhead with a flow rate of less than 2.5 gallons per minute.
■ Install aerators on your kitchen and bathroom faucets to reduce indoor water use by as much as 4 percent.
■ Turn off the water when brushing your teeth or shaving and save more than 5 gallons per day.
■ The best way to weather drought is to eliminate water waste. It not only saves money and a precious resource, but also complies with city ordinances.
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