ORLANDO, Fla. - The City of Orlando is asking residents to reduce water consumption due to COVID-19.
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and the Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC) held a news conference asking residents to stop watering their lawns and washing their cars for at least a week.
Mayor Dyer said Friday that water usage needed to be cut back because of the recent surge of COVID-19 hospitalizations.
OUC treats the city's water with liquid oxygen and supplies that ordinarily go toward water treatment have been diverted to hospitals for patients suffering from the virus.
"It’s another result what happens when residents don’t get vaccinated and become critically ill and are in need of dire medical support and treatment," Mayor Dyer said.
The city-owned utility typically goes through 10 trucks of liquid oxygen a week but its supplier recently said that could be cut back to five to seven trucks a week to accommodate hospitals.
Officials said they believe if water consumption doesn't change, water treatment could hit a critical point in a week. If that happens, it could mean a possible boil water notice could be put in place.
According to OUC, lawn and landscaping irrigation accounts for 40% of water use in Central Florida, and suspending those practices is the most critical way to reduce water consumption.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
- Limit watering your lawn or landscaping
- Limit using a pressure washer
- Limit washing your vehicle
- Wash only full loads in the dishwasher and clothes washer
- Take short showers
- Turn off the water while brushing your teeth or shaving
- When washing dishes by hand, fill up the sink with water and turn off the faucet
- Recycle water rather than pour it down the drain (For instance, used water from a fish tank or your dog’s water bowl is good for watering plants)
- Repair leaking faucets and toilets
- Install water-saver flush valves in toilets
- Install low-flow showerheads
- Use the garbage disposal sparingly
- Water Conservation Tips
The city is already taking action to reduce water at places like parks and baseball fields.
To learn more, visit OUC's website.
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