It’s all in the numbers

Residents reminded of designated day for watering

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Yukon resident Mario Abrego takes advantage of the relatively cooler 93 degree weather to mow his lawn Thursday night. When mowing the lawn, it is recommended to raise the deck to relieve heat stress. (Photo by Michael Pineda)

By Michael Pineda
Staff Writer

 

With rainfall at a premium, the best option to keep a yard green starts with a water hose.
Because Yukon receives water from Oklahoma City in addition to its well water, it operates under Oklahoma City regulations – which call for even and odd numbered watering based on the last digit of a resident’s address. 

Those with an odd digit water on odd-numbered days on the calendar. Those with an even digit water on even-numbered days.

“They have had it in effect, I am going to say, for 10 years,” Yukon Public Works Director Arnold Adams said. “When they had the drought in 2012, they had all those 100-degree temperature days. It kind of started in that time frame and they have never lifted it. It has been in effect but nobody talks about it.”

Arnold said part of the reason it has not come up is because of the amount of rainfall the city has received. There are higher levels of water rationing should the temperatures reach 2012 levels. Residents briefly experienced the next level last week when Oklahoma City suffered a water line break on a 48-inch pipe. People were asked to conserve water during the day.

“Oklahoma City water went down and we could not get water from there,” Arnold said. “We were totally on wells. We have some other valves where we can get water from Oklahoma City.”

The city has one valve off of Highway 66 and two valves on Cornwell Avenue. There is no booster pump for the valves so there is no water pressure. The city has a booster pump that brings in Oklahoma City water near Council Road, which is in the area where the Yukon city wells are located. 

“The next level is you ask the car washes, anything that does not recycle water, to shut down,” Arnold said. “At that next level, you ask people to quit watering and conserve.”

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Conservation often comes in the form of asking residents to be good neighbors and do their part. In 2012, people were asked to conserve water. There were some that continued to water their lawns that also owned a well,” Arnold said. 

“People put out signs letting other people know they are getting water off of their own wells so people would leave them alone,” Arnold said. 

Water usage is also exceeding where it normally is. During the winter, Yukon will use around 2 million gallons of water each day. Normally in the summer, that number jumps to 3 million to 3.5 million. Arnold said for the past week, Yukon has been using 5 million gallons a day.

“Back in 2012, I remember days we topped 7 million gallons a day a couple of times.” he said. “If you remember back in that time frame, it used to just make us cringe when you saw, ‘this is the yard of the week.’ You would go by there and their grass, it looked like a golf course. 

“Since that time, people learned how to conserve. It’s kind of bad for the city because we sell water. That is how we make revenue. Over the past eight to 10 years, revenue has been down because people have learned. When you go in to brush your teeth, you just don’t let it run. They quit watering their yards but we have seen a pattern over the past year or two years, people are starting to want that ‘yard of the month’ again.”

To get the most bang for your buck when taking care of a yard during the hot summer months, Canadian County OSU Extension Office Director Kyle Worthington has some suggestions. In terms of watering, it is best to do so in the morning. For mowing, it is important to keep the blades sharp and adjust the height on the mower decks. 

“If they raise the lawnmower decks, it will help conserve some moisture in the soil profile around their yard,” he said. “And it will help them keep their grass a little greener with a little less heat stress.”

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