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West Orange Times & Observer Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021 1 week ago

OUC returns to normal water operations

The water emergency is nearing an end as the liquid oxygen supply increases.
by: Annabelle Sikes Staff Writer

On Tuesday, Oct. 12 the Orlando Utilities Commission announced customers can return to normal water use following the recent temporary shortage of liquid oxygen, which we told you about here

OUC announced on Aug. 20 that there was a regional shortage of liquid oxygen "linked to the surge of COVID-19 hospitalizations" that was impacting OUC's ability to treat drinking water. 

To reduce demand for the liquid oxygen, OUC had asked the Central Florida community to limit irrigating their lawns and landscapes, which accounts for 40% of Orlando's water use, according to the OUC website. 

OUC is returning to normal water operations thanks to customers answering the call for help by reducing water demand. While always remaining mindful of conservation practices, customers can now resume normal water use – such as irrigating lawns and washing cars, according to a press release from OUC. 

“We sincerely thank our customers for their understanding. When the most recent COVID-19 wave hit our community in August, we wanted liquid oxygen supplies to go to hospitals to treat patients,” said Clint Bullock, General Manager and CEO. “Also, as the hometown utility, we wanted to ensure the clean, reliable water service our customers expect. With our community’s help in reducing the demand on our system, we were able to get through this difficult time together.”

According to OUC, residential and commercial customers cut back water use by as much as 16% during the time when water usage hit a low of 76 million gallons per day. Overall, the daily system average reduced by just under 10% during this seven week time period.

While regular water use can now resume, OUC said it encourages conservation to help customers save money and protect precious natural resource. For water-efficiency tips, visit

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Annabelle Sikes is a staff writer at the West Orange Times & Observer, Southwest Orange Observer and She graduated in May 2021 from the University of Central Florida with a bachelor's degree in journalism and a minor in sociology.  Her past...

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