New Odessa Water Restrictions to Ease Water Pressure Complaints

Nick Lawton
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - The City of Odessa has seen more than 50 days straight of 100+ degree days. It's still the worst drought they've seen.

With so many people watering at the same time, officials said it's at those peak points during the day that water pressure dips dangerously low.

"We can't tell who's wasting more water by any stretch of the imagination," Odessa Mayor, Larry Melton, said. "What we have is a pressure problem, and we think by splitting it that way, we'll alleviate that pressure problem. There isn't enough pressure when everyone's watering at the same time."

Officials said around 6 p.m. at night is when they've been receiving many complaints of little to no water pressure in Odessa.

To split the usage, the new restrictions are all in the course of one day.

Homes and businesses with automated sprinklers will now water between midnight and 5 a.m. and those who hand-water their yards with a hose will water from 7 p.m. to midnight.

Even addresses still water Tuesdays and Saturdays and odd-numbered addresses still have Wednesdays and Sundays.

Firefighters said it's important to conserve before this low pressure becomes a problem.

"It's always important," Odessa Fire Department Battalion Chief, Danny Wyatt, said. "We have to have the proper pressure on our hydrant system for us to use. Anywhere from 50 pounds of pressure on a hydrant up to 80-85 pounds of pressure on a hydrant. We wouldn't want it to get to a point where it would cause us any problems."

But if it did cause problems, firefighters said they are prepared.

"We have two city tankers on the department and then we can also use tankers through the city that we can always get water available on our trucks," Wyatt said.

Meanwhile, officials are trying to stress how critical the water supply is, with not much relief on the horizon.

"There's still some who perhaps do not think it's as bad as it is, and we've got to get that word across because if we run out of water in Odessa, Odessa will no longer exist," Melton said.