Friday, July 5, 2013

Low water pressure in League City?

Is this my imagination, or has anyone else also noticed it lately?  I spent much of my July 4 holiday working on my slowly-emerging tract home masterpiece, but my masterpiece isn't the only thing that's slow to emerge these days.
The water seems a bit lethargic as well.  A hose with good pressure ought to be able to launch water a couple of feet, not a couple of inches as seen here.  This is one of my Sears rubber garden hoses, standard size, going full blast around 6:30 a.m. on July 4, 2013.  I checked the hose for kinks, checked the tap for problems, and found none. 

You'd have a hard time convincing me that there was excessive demand (resulting in lower pressure) on the municipal system at that hour of the morning on a national holiday, when everyone in their right mind was seizing the opportunity to sleep in.  Sure, automatic sprinklers tend to be active overnight and in the early morning, but few people were up showering and doing dishes and laundry at that time.  This pic's a bit dark because the sun wasn't even fully riz yet. 
I've also noticed lower-than-ideal conditions inside my house at times lately.  It's subtle but it does seem like there's less pressure than there rightfully ought to be.  I don't know why this is, and I don't know whether it's a localized versus a more widespread issue.
Could it have something to do with the new capacity under construction on Highway 3?  I haven't heard much about this project in the news, but it looks like they might be getting close to finishing the improvements.   
That's the same water distribution plant that made headlines in 2009 for being the asset that League City purchased and then apparently forgot they owned.  Excerpt from that Chron article in case the URL goes dead in the future:

Although water rationing has dramatically cut water usage in League City — over the weekend water usage was down 53 percent to 72 percent at various times — city officials say low water pressure is likely to remain a problem until the pump station is fixed or the hot, dry weather lets up.

Well, presumably they did fix it in an interim sense prior to commencing the capacity expansion you see above. 

On July 2, League City did enact Stage 1 (voluntary usage reductions) of their Drought Contingency Plan.  And yes indeed, if you look at city-wide usage, you can see it climbing as we continue to proceed through summer without appreciable rain:
The middle column is gallons pumped.  The far right column is percent of total capacity. 

Screengrabbed from this page
Unfortunately there's a few days lag time on the usage posting, so I can't see July 4 numbers yet.  Maybe I'll turn this into a mini science project and jot down the dates and times when my kitchen sink or garden hose annoys me (because the lower pressure makes me stand outside in blistering heat for longer than I would otherwise) so that I can later compare to the municipal throughput. 

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