Due to the lack rain over the last several months, the Bay County Utilities Services Department is requesting that customers voluntarily cut back on water usage until rainfall levels return to normal.
Bay County’s rainfall for February through April of this year is currently 37 percent of what normally has occurred in the same months over the past seven years, according to Interim Utilities Director/Water Division Manager Jamie Jones.
“We’ve had less than six inches of rain from February through April,” Jones noted. “The average over the past seven years is 16 inches during those months,” he said.
February-April 1999 inches of rainfall: 10.48
February-April 2000 inches of rainfall: 9.38
February-April 2001 inches of rainfall: 12.52
February-April 2002 inches of rainfall: 12.61
February-April 2003 inches of rainfall: 20.16
February-April 2004 inches of rainfall: 14.53
February-April 2005 inches of rainfall: 30.36
February-April 2006 inches of rainfall: 5.82
Bay County is urging the voluntary conservation measures in order to avoid mandatory restrictions. Some ways in which consumers can conserve water include:
- Checking your home plumbing for leaks. Read your meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used; if there is a difference, there is a leak.
- Repair dripping fixtures; one drip per second can equal 2,700 gallons per year.
- Check for toilet leaks by adding food coloring to the tank. If color appears in the bowl within 30 minutes, the toilet is leaking. Replace worn out, corroded or bent parts.
- Take shorter showers, don’t run water shaving or washing your face and operate automatic dishwashers and clothes washers only when they are fully-loaded or properly set to the water level for the size of load.
- Store drinking water in the refrigerator rather than letting the tap run every time you want a cool glass of water.
- Insulating pipes helps get hot water faster and avoids wasting water while it heats up.
- Water lawn every five to seven days in the summer, and during the early morning hours when temperatures and wind are low in order to reduce loss from evaporation.
- Check sprinkler systems and timing devices, including rain sensors, regularly to assure proper operation.
- Raise the lawn mower blade to at least three inches; a lawn cut higher encourages grass root to grow deeper, shades the root system and holds moisture better.
- Consider using a commercial car wash that recycles water.
For more information, contact Jamie Jones, Interim Utilities Director/Water Division Manager at (850) 872-4785.