Update: The Orlando Utilities Commission has indicated that residents can now resume “normal water use — such as irrigating lawns and washing cars.” But, the OUC notes that it encourages conservation as a general practice.
The global health crisis continues to have an effect on many industries in Florida.
Today, the Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC) is encouraging Orlando residents to limit water consumption immediately to conserve resources needed to treat COVID-19 patients.
According to the OUC, there is a regional shortage of liquid oxygen (used to treat water) linked to the usage of liquid oxygen by hospitals in treating COVID-19 patients.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, OUC anticipated that it will receive only half as much liquid oxygen as it normally uses in the coming weeks.
In a statement, OUC says, “If OUC’s liquid oxygen supplies continue to be depleted and water usage isn’t reduced, water quality may be impacted. But, we believe that will not happen if everyone does their part to conserve water.”
The main call to action asks residents to suspend lawn and landscaping irrigation as it accounts for 40% of all water use in Central Florida. Other ways residents can help are:
- Limit using a pressure washer
- Limit washing your vehicle
- Wash only full loads in the dishwasher and clothes washer
- Take short showers
- Turn off water while brushing your teeth or shaving
- When washing dishes by hand, fill up the sink with water and turn off the faucet
- Recycle water rather than pour it down the drain (For instance, used water from a fish tank or your dog’s water bowl is good for watering plants)
- Repair leaking faucets and toilets
- Install water-saver flush valves in toilets
- Install low-flow shower heads
- Use the garbage disposal sparingly
Update: On August 25th, the OUC issued an update and noted that they have seen a moderate reduction in water demand within Orlando. Still, the OUC noted that they are asking customers to limit or refrain from certain things like watering their laws or other non-essential water use.
On August 26th, Orange County, Florida Mayor Jerry Demings held a press conference regarding COVID-19. During the conference, Mayor Demings was asked about the situation with liquid oxygen in Orange County. He noted that Orange County is not at the point of issuing a boil water notice or anything like that. Mayor Demings also said that there is no current likelihood that the demand for liquid oxygen would be exceeded in Orange County because of their usage and levels.
We’ll report with updates on this situation. Keep an eye on AllEars.