Water Woes Spread To Bixby, Mounds

Friday, July 22nd 2011, 10:02 pm
By: News On 6

Emily Baucum, News On 6

BIXBY, Oklahoma -- Bixby and Mounds are the latest in the growing list of Green Country cities asking homeowners to use less water.

07/21/2011 Related Story: Tulsa Mayor Calls For Voluntary Water Conservation

Distribution systems in both places are stretched thin as people try to beat the heat.

Neither town is on the brink of running out of water--but with no rain in the forecast--leaders say a water shortage could happen if we don't start conserving now.

The grass is greener on the other side, if you live next door to Syble Davis.

"Every once in a while I turn it around and squirt my feet because it's so cold," Davis said.

One look at her flowers and you might think she's spending money, well... like water.

"I couldn't afford it. I couldn't afford the Bixby water," she said.

The magic behind her green thumb is: well water.

"Then sometimes I feel guilty," she said.

Guilty, because before her eyes, and all around us, Green Country's becoming more like Beige Country and we're fighting it with a very precious resource.

"Oh, it's spiking. It's going up every day. There's been no spike yet. I would like to see a spike," Chuck Linnet, Water Superintendent for RWD #7, said.

Over in Mounds, Rural Water District #7's pumped out twice as much water as normal, ten days straight--as we fight weather that's fit for neither man nor beast.

The district's asking customers to cut back on simple things like washing cars, filling swimming pools and yes, mowing the lawn.

"Forget the lawn. Let's kill the grass. That way you don't have to mow it so you can stay cool and stay in the house," Linnet said.

Back in Bixby, city leaders say their water comes from Tulsa's supply and it's time to be a good neighbor.

"The city's taking steps on our own accord to cut down on irrigation that we're doing," said City of Bixby Engineer Jared Cottle.

The most visible example: the city's popular splash pads are dry until further notice.

"Just to try to set the example that with water usage, we're being the same good stewards we're asking the community to be," Cottle said.

Showing that when water's like gold, our water system struggles to keep up and so do even the most devoted gardeners.

"By the time you get one area like this watered then that area over there will be dry. I just finished watering it. It's just so hot," Davis said.

The voluntary rationing will remain in place until we get more rain or some relief from the extreme heat. Cities around Green Country have not ruled out mandatory rationing as a worst-case scenario.