Council to hold special meeting on water situation

August 9, 2013

A special meeting of the Altus City Council will be held Thursday, Aug. 15 to review and discuss the current water situation at Tom Steed Reservoir and Lake Lugert/Altus.

The Council will receive an update on the Round Timber Water Wells and vote to enter into a contract with Marvin Jones, attorney with Sprouse Shrader and Smith Law Firm of Amarillo, Texas as legal representation for the City.

They will also consider, discuss and vote to approve an ordinance revising Chapter 28, Article III of the Altus Code and the City’s Water Restriction Program, to make changes in the City’s water restriction ordinance, or, approve the ordinance with further amendments as suggested.

The ordinance revisions include levels of rationing and conservation, water restrictions and usage, drought stages, and penalties for violations.

Part of the amended ordinance states that individual customers of the city whose city connection point is on a city line shall be held to the same restrictions as those customers inside the city. Wholesale customers outside the city shall have or institute water management’s plans to achieve the restrictions cited, and that the plans shall also have enforcement mechanisms clearly stated.

Emergency conditions and measures for a Stage 4 Drought Emergency will also be discussed. Altus is currently in Stage 3. Altus could be considered in Stage 4 if the levels of Tom Steed go below 30 percent capacity as determined by the Mountain Park Conservancy District manager or the Bureau of Reclamation, or the demand exceeds 120 percent of treatment capacity. Other conditions could include the water being contaminated or undeliverable from Tom Steed.

If Stage 4 Drought is declared, mandatory restrictions could include a total ban on the outdoor use of water for non-essential use - including the removal or locking of all irrigation meters, hydrant meters for contractor use to be pulled. Certain exemptions will apply to restrictions.