Clint Bullock, OUC General Manager & CEO, joins Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer in announcing residents and businesses can resume normal water usage.
While commending OUC customers for doing their part to reduce water demand for nearly two months, Clint Bullock, General Manager & CEO, and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer announced on Oct. 12, 2021, that it was no longer necessary to continue asking the community to limit water consumption.
“Our liquid oxygen (LOX) shipments have resumed to normal, so we are here today to tell customers you can go back to normal usage, utilizing irrigation appropriately, washing cars and pressure washing,” Bullock said during a news conference at City Hall.
Said Dyer: “I want to thank each and every member of our community for participating in conserving water. I also want to thank residents who got vaccinated. The key to reducing the use of liquid oxygen is simply to reduce the number of [COVID] patients in the hospital.”
On Aug. 20, Bullock and Dyer appealed to OUC water customers to limit irrigation, which accounts for 40% of potable water use, and reduce their overall water consumption while a liquid oxygen shortage impacts OUC’s water treatment system. LOX is a key component in OUC’s water treatment process, but shipments were reduced this summer because of increased demand for LOX by health care systems that needed it to treat seriously ill COVID-19 patients. The recent decline in COVID hospitalizations across Florida has lessened the demand for LOX.
Bullock said he was grateful to customers for answering the call to conserve water, saying their response may have spared OUC from having to issue a boil water alert. He said customers had averaged a 10% daily reduction in consumption over a seven-week period. On one day, he added, customers cut usage by 16%, to 76 million gallons. Normal daily usage is 90 million gallons.
He also mentioned that some of OUC’s larger commercial customers were especially resourceful at finding ways to reduce their water usage. Bullock singled out Universal Orlando Resort’s theme parks and hotels, the City of Orlando, LYNX, Orange County, Taylor Farms, Rosen Hotels & Resorts, Central Florida Expressway Authority, Walgreens, Dr. Phillips Property Management, JLL Property Management, and Nemours Children’s Hospital for their water-saving contributions.
Dyer noted that the City reduced irrigation at its ballfields and parks by 48% in September. “I’m very proud to tell you that the City of Orlando led by example when it was called on to conserve,” he said.
While OUC’s LOX supplies are back to normal, Bullock emphasized that “conservation is always fundamentally important.”
Customers are encouraged to find water-saving tips at OUC.com/water.