Exclamation mark  ATTENTION: To reduce demand for liquid oxygen, OUC asks water customers without reclaimed water systems to immediately limit irrigating their lawns, and all customers to limit washing vehicles and performing non-critical activities like pressure washing. Learn more.
COMMUNITY SUPPORT NEEDED:
Customers Asked to Limit Watering Lawns Immediately to Conserve Resources Needed to Treat COVID Patients



water_graphicSeptember 13, 2021 Update:

Over the past week, OUC saw water demand decrease to a low of 77 million gallons per day on Thursday (9/9) to an increase of 81 million gallons per day on Sunday (9/12). Shipments of liquid oxygen (LOX) continue to be prioritized for treating hospitalized COVID-19 patients in our community. OUC uses LOX to cleanse and purify water our customers receive.

You can help by reducing the amount of water used in or around your home or business. This ensures the shipments we receive are adequate to provide the great tasting, crystal clear water you receive. Here’s how you can help reduce your demand.

Read More LOX Updates

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Do not irrigateA regional shortage of liquid oxygen linked to the surge of COVID-19 inpatient treatments is impacting OUC’s treated water supplies. To reduce demand for liquid oxygen, OUC is asking water customers to immediately limit irrigating their lawns and landscapes. 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.

Suspending lawn/landscaping irrigation, which accounts for 40% of water use in Central Florida, is the most critical way to reduce water consumption. A typical summer month in Orlando records more than 6 inches of rain, which is enough to meet the 1- to 1.5 inches per week of water a yard needs.

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HOW YOU CAN HELP

  • Limit watering your lawn or landscaping
  • 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
  • Water Conservation Tips
  • If you suspect a leak, click here.

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OUC Usage Dashboard

OUC customers can access their daily water consumption via My.OUC.com. To learn how, we’ve created this educational video.

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Helpful Water Meter Videos

Alinx St. Louis, Conservation Specialist I, and Manuel Mena, Conservation Specialist II, provide helpful information regarding water meters in the video series below.

En Español


En Español


En Español

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • Does OUC have a conservation goal to help mitigate this issue?
    Yes, OUC needs to conserve between 25-50% of what is used per day. Currently we pump about 90 MGD (millions of gallons per day), and our goal would be to not exceed 50 MGD daily until LOX supplies return to normal in Central Florida.
  • Why are you asking customers to limit irrigating?
    About 38-40% of drinking water produced by OUC is used in lawn irrigation.
  • What if I use reclaimed water on my lawn?
    Reclaimed water is wastewater that has been treated and transformed into a product that is primarily used for watering lawns. Reclaimed water does not go through the ozone process and can still be used at this time for lawn irrigation. We ask that you implement other water conservation measures to help reduce demand on our system.
  • What can OUC water customers do to help?
    • We’re asking customers to limit watering their lawns immediately. Lawn irrigation is the most impactful change and would significantly reduce water consumption.
    • Toilets, showers, and laundry account for about 90% of home water usage after irrigation.
    • We ask customers to avoid pressure washing, filling pools and washing cars until further notice.
  • Where can I get information on OUC’s Water Quality?
    Water Quality reports are available at https://ouc.com/about-ouc/company-publications/water-quality-reports.
  • Why is there a shortage of liquid oxygen currently?
    Several factors have contributed to the current supply shortage. In addition to COVID-19 cases surging locally, health systems have been increasingly prescribing a treatment that relies on liquid oxygen more frequently. While this combination has created a challenge for OUC to solve in terms of the supply shortage, we fully support vendors diverting liquid oxygen to the health systems in Central Florida as a life-saving measure.
  • How does OUC use liquid oxygen in its water?
    Ozone (liquid oxygen or LOX) is the strongest oxidizer available and reduces the amount of chlorine that must be added in the water treatment process. When LOX is added, the result is clean, fresh-tasting water with a sparkling appearance. In 1995, OUC began converting its water plants to ozone treatment and built three new ozone plants.
  • What alternatives to ozone does OUC have?
    OUC has been adjusting our chlorination feed rates to reduce the need for LOX. OUC does not have the capability to solely use chlorine to oxidize the hydrogen sulfide in the water and maintain a chlorine residual required by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP).
  • How long are we anticipating LOX shortages to last?
    • This is difficult to determine with certainty because it is tied to the number of COVID-19 patients being treated in hospitals with oxygen. As COVID-19 hospitalizations decline, we expect our supply of LOX to increase.
    • Customers should prepare to continue conservation measures for at least two weeks.
September 7, 2021 Update:

Over the Labor Day weekend, OUC saw decreases in water demand ranging from 82 million gallons daily used on Sunday, 9/5, to a low of 79 million gallons per day on Monday, 9/6. We continue to ask for your assistance in conserving water by eliminating unnecessary water consumption, such as irrigation, pressure washing, and car washing, for an additional four weeks.

LOX suppliers continue to see high demand from healthcare systems as the COVID pandemic persists and the supply chain is stretched; therefore, OUC is receiving only 50-70% of normal LOX shipments, and even these are not guaranteed. OUC Water Production continues to work diligently to optimize the use of liquid oxygen.


September 3, 2021 Update:

OUC is seeing a steady increase in water demand – from a low of 79 million gallons per day on Friday, 8/27, rising to a high of 85 million gallons per day on Wednesday, 9/1, as compared to our 90 million gallons per day average for this time of year. It is imperative that this trend of increased water usage is reversed.

Liquid oxygen (LOX) suppliers continue to see high demand from healthcare systems as the COVID pandemic persists and the supply chain is stretched; therefore, OUC is receiving only 50-70% of normal LOX shipments, and even these are not guaranteed. OUC Water Production continues to work diligently to optimize the use of liquid oxygen. However, we continue to need our customers’ help reducing or eliminating unnecessary water consumption, such as irrigation, pressure washing, and car washing, for an additional four weeks.


September 1, 2021 Update:

As of Tuesday (8/31), the daily demand for water slightly increased to 83 million gallons per day. While this amount remains lower than our normal average of 90 million gallons per day, we continue to ask for your help in conserving water every day as we work through this supply chain issue.

According to the National Weather Service, the Orlando forecast indicates a 70% chance for showers today and 30% tonight. Thursday’s (9/2) forecast shows 60% during the day, 30% in the evening and has Friday (9/3) at 60% during the day and mostly clear in the evening. So, we continue to ask you to let nature take care of your irrigation needs.


August 25, 2021 Update:

OUC continues to see a moderate reduction in water demand. On August 24, OUC customers reduced their demand from a daily average of 90 million gallons per day to 82 million gallons per day.

We continue to ask our customers to limit or refrain from watering their lawns and any other non-essential water use. With rain chances projected in Orlando at 70% for the next two days and 60% this weekend, let nature take care of your irrigation needs. Together we can make a difference.


August 23, 2021 Update:

Since Friday’s announcement, we have seen a moderate decrease in water demand when compared to the daily average of 90 million gallons thanks in part to the efforts of OUC customers to reduce consumption. This is a good start to help us reach our goal to conserve 25-50% of what is used per day. We ask that customers continue to limit watering their yard and other non-essential water use until further notice.

We appreciate our community’s effort to conserve water, and it’s critical that we continue to work together every day to reduce our demand for water even more.