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Orlando Officials: Conserve Water To Save Oxygen For Coronavirus Patients

Stanton Energy Center. Photo by Amy Green

Orlando leaders say the coronavirus surge is causing a shortage of liquid oxygen. 

They are calling on residents to get vaccinated and conserve water, as liquid oxygen is used as a water purifier. 

The Orlando Utilities Commission says it uses liquid oxygen as a disinfectant and also to remove hydrogen sulfide, which is not harmful but causes a rotten egg smell. 

The utility says it is within about a week of running out of liquid oxygen and is asking customers to avoid activities like watering their yards and washing their cars for several weeks. 

OUC says reclaimed water is not affected. 

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer says the city will turn off its water features at its parks. He acknowledges the dramatic nature of the request but says the action is needed.

OUC is the state’s second-largest municipal utility, serving some 250,000 customers in Orange and Osceola counties.

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Amy Green

About Amy Green

Reporter and Producer

Amy Green covers the environment and climate change at WMFE News. She is an award-winning journalist and author whose extensive reporting on the Everglades is featured in the book MOVING WATER, published by Johns Hopkins University Press, and podcast DRAINED, available wherever you get your podcasts. Amy’s ... Read Full Bio »