• Drought forces Cocoa Beach officials to impose restrictions on reclaimed water

    By: Mel Holt

    Updated:

    COCOA BEACH, Fla. - Sprinkler heads for Cocoa Beach’s reclaimed water system are off, but when the water starts flowing on Saturday morning, it’ wil be for a restricted number of houses.

    Barbara Nawrocki and her Cocoa Beach neighbors on the city’s reclaimed water system have been limited to three days a week for a month, but the restrictions will get a little tighter on Saturday morning when the hours of use go from midnight to 10 a.m. to 2 to 10 a.m.

    “The reclaimed treated demand is greater than what we’re getting into the plant,” said Bill Collings, chief operator of the water reclamation facility.

    The city’s reclaimed water storage tanks are almost empty.

    When demand is lower, the highly treated wastewater is available for irrigation 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

    But with so little rainfall, homeowners are quickly draining the available supply.

    “Due to mechanical reasons, we have to turn off at 4 or 5 feet, otherwise our pumps will pull air,” said Collings.

    Collings said restrictions are not uncommon in early spring, and said there hasn’t been any significant rainfall in the area of the wastewater plant since April 5.   

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