This past weekend, on August 21, the City of Winter Park Water & Wastewater Utilities Department distributed a press release urging residents to conserve water use for the coming weeks to combat a regional shortage of liquid oxygen brought on by the current surge of COVID-19 hospitalizations. In addition to being a critical component of the water treatment process, liquid oxygen is also used by hospitals in the treatment of critically ill COVID-19 patients.
There are three water treatment facilities located in Winter Park that purify groundwater before it is dispersed for public use. Currently, these facilities are only receiving approximately one third of the typical volume of liquid oxygen.
Officials are aiming to reduce water usage by up to 50% with the help of residents. Locals are encouraged to avoid lawn irrigation, car washing, and pressuring washing as well as to only run full loads in the in dishwashers and washing machines.
“The best way we can conserve water right now is to really stop irrigating our lawns. Turn off the lawn sprinklers for the next few weeks so that we can conserve our use of liquid oxygen,” said Winter Park Mayor Phil Anderson in an interview with MSNBC.
MSNBC also reported in the clip that if there are not sufficient cutbacks on water usage, the City will potentially take more drastic measures and file an ordinance to shut off irrigation across the city.
The press release also warned: “If enough water is not conserved during this critical time, system-wide boil water alerts may need to be issued before water can be used for cooking or drinking.”
For additional information, visit the City of Winter Park Water & Wastewater Utilities webpage.