Imminent Water Restrictions Raise Concerns

Imminent Water Interruption

Anticipating Stage 3 Restrictions

As summer approaches, the imminent Stage 3 water restrictions looms, posing a significant challenge for those planning to install swimming pools. The city’s drought contingency plan, currently at Stage 2, could escalate to Stage 3 if the combined lake levels drop below 20 percent. Lake levels stand at 27.4 percent, inching closer to the threshold that could drastically change plans for many residents and businesses.

Imminent Impact on Pool Installations and Operations

The onset of Stage 3 restrictions would mean prohibiting filling, refilling, or topping up swimming pools, jacuzzis, and even water parks. This policy is a preventive measure to conserve water but could significantly disrupt pool owners and the pool installation industry. From MEC Pools, Jerry Sedillo highlighted that the looming restrictions have already impacted business dynamics. “We’ve had an excellent year so far,” Sedillo noted the rush to complete installations before the enactment of further restrictions. However, the company faces labor shortages due to the increased workload and actively seeks additional crews to handle the demand.

Customers Caught Off-Guard on Imminent Water Restrictions

The sudden news of potential restrictions has been unsettling for customers like Mark Perez, who currently has his pool installed. “We weren’t counting on something like this happening. It just all of a sudden popped up,” Perez shared. The possibility of halting construction because of water restrictions is a concern, especially given the investment involved. “It’s a big investment, and I’d hate to see it come to a halt due to a water restriction,” he added, expressing the common sentiment among affected residents.

Exploring Alternatives and Solutions

In response to the restrictions, Sedillo mentioned that one possible workaround is using non-city water sources, although this comes at a higher cost for the customer. “We have to find other ways to truck water in from a place that is not restricted. The customer has to pay extra for that,” he explained. This situation has caused anxiety among pool owners and those operating community pools and splash pads, which are popular during the summer.

City’s Imminent Response and Future Plans

During a recent city workshop, City Manager Peter Zanoni addressed the issue, recognizing the community’s concerns and the need for updated regulations. “In my time on the Blake Radio Show, we get many call-ins about, ‘What can I do about my pool? I don’t want it collapsing. What can the city recommend?'” Zanoni said. He indicated that he might bring forward a recommendation on whether to change the ordinance in about two weeks.

Strategies for Water Conservation

Even as the threat of Stage 3 restrictions hangs over, Sedillo emphasized that there are strategies pool owners can implement to conserve water, such as using a pool cover, minimizing splashing, and applying a chemical barrier to slow evaporation. These measures could mitigate the impact of the restrictions if they become a reality.

Preparing for the Inevitable

With the potential for Stage 3 restrictions on the horizon, pool owners and installation companies are bracing for changes that could affect their summer plans and livelihoods. The situation highlights the broader challenges of water management in drought and the importance of community readiness and resilience.

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