Clay Water Supply Still Plentiful Citizens Credited for Conserving without Any Official Restrictions

By Cravey, Beth Reese | The Florida Times Union, July 4, 1998 | Go to article overview

Clay Water Supply Still Plentiful Citizens Credited for Conserving without Any Official Restrictions


Cravey, Beth Reese, The Florida Times Union


Mandatory lawn-watering restrictions in Jacksonville have been

so well-publicized that even some people in Clay County are

adhering to them, utility officials said.

But that's not the primary reason the Clay County Utility

Authority, which provides water and sewer service to

unincorporated areas of the county, has stopped short of

imposing similar restrictions of its own, said Executive

Director Ray Avery.

Most of the credit should be given to the authority's

long-range planning to meet the water needs of a fast-growing

county, he said.

"It looks like we are getting the benefit of their

restrictions," Avery said. "But I think the main reason we're

doing so well is that we have made some capital improvements in

the past three to four years . . . That has kept up our capacity

and put us in good shape in regard to growth."

The capital improvements include new water plants, such as an

$800,000 one now under construction off Old Jennings Road near

Middleburg, and expansion of existing plants, he said.

Plenty of water exists in the Floridan Aquifer, the underground

water source that serves the region. The challenge, utility

officials said, is designing water distribution systems that

have sufficient capacity to address growth and get the water to

users.

On June 3, the Jacksonville Electric Authority, which manages

that city's water supply, imposed mandatory water restrictions

that allowed residents south and east of the St. Johns River to

water lawns only three days a week, on an odd-even address

system.

The restrictions were enacted because of low water pressure that

stemmed from peak demand, city officials said. Much of the

recent high usage was attributed to heavy lawn irrigation

because of the dry conditions and smaller-than-needed pipes,

they said.

The new Jacksonville rules were in addition to a water

conservation measure imposed several years ago by the St. …

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