Brownwood water customers will have a five-day grace period from once-a-week outdoor watering restrictions that have been in place since last year, but that doesn’t mean users have permission to be wasteful.

“Water waste is prohibited,” David Harris, assistant division director of public works for the City of Brownwood, said. “Water waste is defined as allowing runoff in the streets or alleys, overwatering of lawns, or leaking pipes that are not repaired. Please use this water wisely.”

The reduction in watering restrictions in the City of Brownwood only will start Monday and continue through Friday.

Even though limits are being temporarily lifted on the days of the week watering outdoors is allowed, customers will still be obligated for the cost of water used.

The change is not the result of any rise in the level of Lake Brownwood, which continues to drop as drought conditions persist in Texas. The lake level was 1,411.87 feet above sea level, or 13.13 feet below spillway, on Saturday afternoon.

The Brown County Water Improvement District No. 1 needs to run acceptance testing on its new water treatment facility, operating at maximum capacity, to ensure that the plant can meet the needs of customers during peak demand, water district General Manager Dennis Spinks said at the Sept. 11 board meeting. The plant needs to generate more treated water than customers use on a Monday or Tuesday due to compliance with the conservation plan now in place. Addresses with odd-numbered addresses are allowed to water outside at limited times on Monday, and those with even-numbered addresses do so on Tuesday.

“To help facilitate this very important test and to allow the water to be beneficially used, the City of Brownwood is reducing watering restrictions for this event,” Harris said. “With the exception of these test days, Stage III requirements are still in effect and will continue until further notice.”

Pools may be filled, cars can be washed and landscaping may be watered, Harris said. Parks, sports fields and other public areas may be watered. The Brownwood Fire Department will be performing fire hydrant testing this week, and flushing any sendiment in the pipes.

Bangs School Superintendent Bill Foster said last week that the school district has been granted permission from the City of Bangs to soak the field at Memorial Stadium as part of a pipeline flush in that city.

Other retail water providers are not participating, Spinks said earlier, because their rate structure increases fees as usage climbs. Harris said non-Brownwood customers must remain on the schedules and restrictions of their respective water suppliers.

“I believe most of our citizens understand the issue of drought and will do what it takes to preserve our resources,” Harris said. “Free information on ways to conserve is available at the City of Brownwood City Hall in our public information center.”

Information is also online at www.ci.brownwood.tx.us.