Winter Park asks residents to conserve water due to COVID surge

The City of Winter Park Water & Wastewater Utilities Department is joining the City of Orlando and Orlando Utilities Commission by asking its customers to conserve water temporarily. 

Officials say the conservation efforts should last for at least two to three weeks. 

"The city is urging customers to reduce water usage by not washing cars and to delay the use of pressure washers," the city said in a press release on Saturday. "In addition, customers that use potable water for irrigation are requested to minimize the frequency of watering their lawns."

RELATED: Orlando asks residents to limit water consumption due to COVID-19 impacts

The City of Orlando recently made the same plea to residents. 

The urgency is due to the shortage of liquid oxygen being experienced by the surge of COVID-19 treatments. 

OUC treats the city's water with liquid oxygen and supplies that ordinarily go toward water treatment have been diverted to hospitals for patients suffering from the virus. 

RELATED: AdventHealth has highest number of COVID-19 hospitalizations to date

If enough water is not conserved during this critical time, system-wide boil water alerts may need to be issued. 

The department serves approximately 25,000 customers.

"The ripple effects of this pandemic are real and impacting so many unexpected elements of our lives. The city encourages all of those that are eligible to become vaccinated, continue wearing face coverings when in public indoor spaces, keep a safe social distance, and now please conserve water for a short period of time," encouraged City Manager Randy Knight. "This is one more way we can individually do our part to help our entire community emerge from this pandemic."

Orlando Health sent FOX 35 this statement in regards to residents being asked to limit water consumption.

"As the number of COVID-19 positive patients has significantly increased nationwide, so has the demand for the liquid oxygen used in the treatment of many of these patients. Orlando Health continues to maintain an adequate supply of liquid oxygen across our network of hospitals and does not anticipate the increased demand having any impact on patient care.
To aid the City of Orlando in its request to reduce water usage, Orlando Health will seek to implement a combination of manageable water conservation measures across our health system. These measures will have a minimal impact to the operations of our health system and will be continuously evaluated and adjusted as needed to ensure the best use of our resources according to the needs of our patients.
Our team members and medical staff continue to handle this surge, not unlike a year ago at this same time, in a professional and exemplary way and remain ready to serve the residents of our community."

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