Water restrictions lifted

July 17, 2023

Water restrictions implemented this spring due to an ongoing water shortage have been lifted, City Manager Mike Bailey said this morning.

“As a result of weekend rains that have filled Hulah Lake, the City’s primary water supply source, we have moved to Stage 1 of the Water Shortage Ordinance,” he said. “This means we will continue our public awareness campaign for water conservation, as called for in Stage 1 of the ordinance.

“All Stage 3 restrictions, the stage we were in prior to these significant rain events, are lifted effective today.”

The following actions will be taken, in accordance with Stage 1:

  • Splash pads will be opened as soon as possible, likely today and/or tomorrow. (Updates will be posted on the City’s Facebook page, City of Bartlesville GOV.)
  • Staff will recommend the City Council approve a resolution rescinding emergency water rates effective today. (The resolution requires City Council approval.)
  • There are no restrictions on outdoor water use at this time. However, conservation is strongly encouraged.
  • A free shuttle service will be provided to Bartlesville residents to the Osage Hills State Park Swimming Pool, using the CityRide vehicles. See details in this edition of City Beat.


The City-owned Frontier and Sooner swimming pools will not open this summer due to the inability to staff them this late in the season, Bailey said.

“We were hoping to open the pools, even if we could only keep them open for a couple of weeks. But unfortunately, the Richard Kane YMCA, which manages our pools, has advised they simply cannot staff them — or even one of them — this late in the season,” Bailey said.

“As an alternative, we have made arrangements with United Community Action Program, the non-profit organization that operates our public transit system CityRide, to provide free rides to Osage Hills Park Swimming Pool for Bartlesville residents.

“While we understand it would be preferable to have our local pools open, we are extremely grateful to UCAP Transit Director Laura Corff and her organization for generously offering to provide this service — at no charge to riders or Bartlesville taxpayers — for our residents. Laura and UCAP have always been exceptional to work with, and this is further proof of their commitment to our citizens and the Bartlesville community.”

Bailey thanked Bartlesville citizens who helped conserve water during the monthslong drought, and said plans will proceed to find additional sources of potable water in the future.

“This has been a challenging time for our community, but as always, Bartlesville has risen to the occasion,” he said. “I am grateful to all the citizens who pitched in to conserve and help wherever they could. I am also grateful to the City Council, which exercised wisdom and even-handedness in applying our Water Shortage Ordinance to ensure that we were prepared even under the worst conditions, and I’m thankful to City staff for their hard work and due diligence throughout this ordeal.

“The Water Shortage Ordinance did what it was intended to do, and that is to help preserve our remaining water supply until a significant rain event or the addition of a potable water source. We will continue to seek additional resources for water so that we can be even better prepared should this situation arise again the future.”

Bailey said the City Council is expected to consider appointments to the Water Resources Committee during an upcoming meeting.