Gilmer residents asked to voluntarily conserve water

Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 12:59 PM CDT
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GILMER, Texas (KLTV) - Gilmer City Manager Greg Hutson has initiated the city’s drought contingency plan. Right now, they are at stage one, which asks residents to voluntarily conserve water.

The City of Gilmer gets all its water from an underground aquifer according to Mayor Tim Marshall.

“We have several wells around town: different areas of town. Some remote, some of them right here. This is a well right here behind the old high school tennis court,” Marshall said.

According to Gilmer Director of Public Works Ken Harris, Gilmer isn’t the only community that uses these resources. “Pritchett, Bi-County, Sharon, Ozarka — we all pull out of the same aquifer,” Harris said.

“There’s been rain sporadically in the county but not a general enough rain to refresh the aquifers that we get our water from,” Marshall said.

“We usually run, on a pumping level, twenty or thirty feet, and I think we’re down to about fifteen feet now,” Harris said.

Hutson, although out of town, has the authority to initiate the city’s drought contingency plan without city council approval. He has declared stage one, which is voluntary.

“As a matter of caution, we’d like to ask people if they would to try to start to conserve voluntarily, conserve water, because we don’t want to run into an issue where we don’t have water for the city,” Marshall said.

Mayor Marshall says he does have a green yard so far, which takes some water, but will commit to conservation along with the rest of the community. “My wife and I, we’ll conserve water just like everybody else and make a good example for the people of Gilmer,” Marshall said.

He says residents need to look to the immediate future.

“I know people will say, ‘well, you know, I’ve spent a lot of money on my yard.’ I understand that, but if we have a fire or something major and we really need to use water, and for whatever reason we haven’t been conservative and we run low on our water and the water pressure was reduced, then we won’t be able to fight any fire that we have,” Marshall said.

Officials say the situation is not critical right now, but the city wants to make sure it doesn’t get that way.

The city will continue closely monitoring their water levels and will let residents know if mandatory restrictions must be put in place.

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