While the city will remain in stage 2B watering restrictions – limited to watering outdoors only two days a week – the threshold for drought surcharges has increased, according to Colorado Springs Utilities.
Starting Aug. 1, the entry point for water pricing increases goes to 2,500 cubic feet of water usage, up from 2,000 cubic feet. The updated drought surcharge has been reduced from twice the block three cost, to 1.25 times the block three cost. The move comes after City Council voted to amend the drought restrictions ordinance.
Commercial customers are billed using a baseline calculated from 2012 average water use. Commercial customers exceeding that baseline will now be charged 1.25 times the current price, and 1.15 times the current price for non-potable water use.
Watering between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. is still not permitted, and there is a limit of three hours for residential customers. Outdoor landscape watering remains limited to two days a week on designated days.
As of mid-July, customers have saved 3.8 billion gallons of water. Springs Utilities’ water system is at 57 percent of capacity, and there is approximately 1.8 years of user demand in storage.
Outdoor landscape watering with a drip irrigation system, handheld hose equipped with an active positive shut-off nozzle or handheld container is allowed for trees, shrubs and plants at any time.