Mandatory measures could to into effect by June 27

Fairhope residents asked to cut water, electric use amid scorching summer

Hot, dry weather causes city to implement first phase of conservation ordinance

By Guy Busby, Government Editor, guy@gulfcoastmedia.com
Posted 6/22/22

FAIRHOPE – High demand during the current hot, dry weather has Fairhope officials asking utility customers to cut back on water and electrical use.

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Mandatory measures could to into effect by June 27

Fairhope residents asked to cut water, electric use amid scorching summer

Hot, dry weather causes city to implement first phase of conservation ordinance

Posted

FAIRHOPE – High demand during the current hot, dry weather has Fairhope officials asking utility customers to cut back on water and electrical use.

The city implemented the first phase of its Fairhope water conservation ordinance Friday, June 17, after water use exceeded the level from the same time last year by about 11.5%, Mayor Sherry Sullivan said.

“At this time, the Fairhope water system is averaging 1 million more gallons of water per day than a year ago at this time,” Sullvan said. “For reference, on June 14, 2021, the system pumped 7,421,000 gallons compared to the June 14, 2022, rate of 8,276,000 gallons pumped. The system’s current capacity for service is just over 9 million gallons.”

On Monday, June 20, city officials were scheduled to turn off the splash pad at Fairhoper Community Park for maintenance and to study water consumption. The splash pad is scheduled to reopen Tuesday but may have reduced hours, according to a city statement.

The Fairhope’s water conservation ordinance went into effect May 27, 2020. The plan established three phases of water conservation response. In 2020, Fairhope water customers were using about eight million gallons of water a day, according to reports.

On Friday, city officials implemented the first phase of the ordinance encouraging water conservation.

The first phase goes into effect when demand reaches an average of 80% capacity over seven consecutive days. At that point, Fairhope Utilities water customers are encouraged to limit the amount of water used to what is only necessary for health, business and outdoor use.

“All water customers are respectfully asked to comply with the Phase I restrictions,” Sullivan said. “Compliance will help determine how the system moves forward in the coming weeks.”

If demand continues, the Fairhope City Council can declare a water emergency and implement the second and third phases.

The mandatory phases could begin as early as June 27 unless drastic improvement is made, a city statement said. The second and third phases require mandatory compliance for landscaping irrigation, filling of swimming pools, washing of driveways and more.

Once the mandatory measures are implemented, the restrictions will be in effect until lifted by the City Council or until demand is at or below 100% of capacity for 7 days.

High temperatures are also expected to increase electric bills for city customers. Fairhope electric customers are asked to reduce energy usage from 1 to 7 p.m. each day, the city statement said. Some ways to reduce consumption include increasing the air-conditioner thermostat temperature setting by four or five degrees, using ceiling fans, replacing air filters, turning off lights in unoccupied rooms and keeping curtains and blinds closed during the peak hours of the day.

“Fairhope Public Utilities and the city of Fairhope urge you do your part to help keep your energy costs as low as possible,” Sullivan said.

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