By Victor O'Brien

Killeen Daily Herald

Three days of excessive water use by Harker Heights residents prompted the city's public works department to move into Stage 1 water conservation Friday.

The first stage places voluntary recommendations for watering twice a week. The watering schedule is separated by days of the week and depends on whether a residence is north or south of U.S. Highway 190.

Director of Public Works Mark Hyde said the decision came after the city experienced abnormally high usage on Monday and a three-day average at 7.7 million gallons per day. An average of 7.2 million gallons per day is the trigger for Stage 1.

Monday was left out of the watering schedule because its average was so high since many irrigation systems are set for that day.

The voluntary plan discourages outdoor watering between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. except with handheld hoses or watering devices with an automatic shutoff. The plan does not apply to commercial nurseries, reclaimed water and new landscaping in the first 10 days.

Hyde said residents should water less frequently but for a longer duration to give a deep watering that moistens grass roots. Hyde suggested people set their sprinkler systems to run between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. since the city has experienced high water usage between 3 and 7 a.m.

If water usage does not decrease, then the city will move into Stage 2, which is triggered at 8.1 million gallons per day. The second stage makes Stage 1 restrictions and recommendations mandatory. It also places restrictions on washing automobiles, trucks, boats, airplanes and other vehicles. The stage bans charity car washes and refilling swimming pools.

"We're trying to be proactive and not get into a situation where we have problems," Hyde said. "Hopefully, we get enough people to participate that we don't have to go to Stage 2 or we get some rainfall."

Anyone with questions about water usage is urged to call the public works department at 953-5649.

Contact Victor O'Brien at or (254) 501-7468.

Harker Heights Recommended Watering Schedule

Businesses and Residences North of U.S. 190:

Addresses ending with even numbers: Tuesdays and Saturdays.

Addresses ending with odd numbers: Wednesdays and Sundays.

Businesses and residences south of U.S. 190:

Addresses ending with even numbers: Tuesdays and Saturdays.

Addresses ending with odd numbers: Sundays and Thursdays.

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