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Cottonwood Shores asks residents to safely conserve water

Cottonwood Shores residents are urged to find the balance between water conservation and dripping pipes.

“We’re asking everyone to conserve if they can,” said City Administrator J.C. Hughes.

City officials are making this request as freezing temperatures are affecting the water plant and distribution lines.

Hughes recognizes the obstacles in order for residents to keep their water lines from freezing up. Some ideas, he said, include strategically placing space heaters near water lines in cold parts of homes.

But those heaters will only stay on as long as there’s electricity to homes.

Electricity providers, under direction of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, began implement “rolling blackouts” Monday, Feb. 15, to help conserve electricity across much of Texas. However, due to weather conditions damaging some electric power infrastructure, some people are experiencing much longer outages.

Another option to keep water pipes from freezing is dripping faucets, but that could impact the city’s water supply during this stretch of winter weather.

“It’s a catch 22,” Hughes said. “You need to drip your pipes but don’t flow the water. Drip your water.”

Going into the weekend, city workers had placed heaters in different parts of the water plant to protect vulnerable areas. What most didn’t foresee coming was how the extreme weather would impact the state’s electricity providers and require the rolling outages.

“Our systems in this area aren’t built for this weather,” Hughes said. “Rolling blackouts are killing us.”

Therefore, residents are asked to help.

“If you can conserve water, please do so,” Hughes said. “You still got to drip. I don’t want citizens to think I don’t want them to drip.”

jfierro@thepicayune.com