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Water Wise

Baby, it’s dry outside!

Water SignAfter unusually hot weather, the region’s all-time driest May-July and in preparation of a potentially drier-than-normal fall, The City of Everett, City of Seattle and Tacoma Water have moved to the second stage of their water shortage response plans – voluntary reduction.

The voluntary stage has been enacted as the potential for a water supply shortage continues to increase. The three cities are working together to manage water supplies for people and fish during the drought and higher-than-normal water use. They are asking customers for their help by voluntarily reducing their water use by 10 percent starting immediately.

Pierce County is answering this call for additional water conservation by implementing new aggressive irrigation standards that will significantly curb the County’s water use. The County has stopped irrigating grass because it requires the most water to keep green and has limited the irrigation of all other landscaping to help reduce water. The grass at most County sites will go dormant and turn brown unless it’s a site deemed necessary to irrigate for safety purposes or in support of a core County program; such as ball fields used by the community. By implementing these new changes to our irrigation practices, we add to our ongoing effort to conserve water in County operations. Since 2010 we’ve successfully reduced water use by 19.6% at County-owned facilities, saving over 15.4 million gallons of water each year. 

What Pierce County is doing to reduce water use
    • Letting all non-essential county maintained lawns go dormant
    • Installing a state-of-the-art gray water recycling system at the Pierce County Jail that will save over 3
       million gallons of water each year.
    • Installing shower controls in the 2002 Jail
    • Installing low-flow plumbing fixture technology in our buildings

What Pierce County residents can do to reduce water use
    • Let your lawn go dormant and limit plant watering to twice a week
    • If you are watering plants, do so before 8 a.m. or after 7 p.m. to reduce the impact of evaporation
    • Reduce your showering time at home, work and the gym
    • Check for and fix water leaks now, including checking your toilets for silent leaks
    • Wash only full loads of laundry and dishes

More water saving tips can be found at www.savingwater.org. For more information about the voluntary water reduction, please see Tacoma Water Supply FAQ.

Note: If conditions get worse, each city will decide if it will move to the “mandatory” phase of water shortage response and require customers to further reduce the amount of water they normally use each day.