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OUC: Water Conservation Not Enough As Pandemic Prompts Liquid Oxygen Shortage

The Orlando Utilities Commission is reminding customers to conserve water as an unprecedented surge in the coronavirus causes a shortage of liquid oxygen. 

Two weeks after making the request, the utility says customers are saving on water, but not enough. 

OUC says demand dipped after the initial request but last week was inching back to normal.

Spokesman Tim Trudell says irrigation represents 40% of the demand. He says customers should plan to conserve for two to four weeks.  

“It’s not going to be this weekend or even next week. Unfortunately Covid is not going to go away immediately. We realize it’s going to be a while before we get back to the liquid oxygen we were used to receiving, which was about 10 trucks per week.” 

Liquid oxygen is used as a water purifier and also to remove hydrogen sulfide, which causes a rotten egg smell.  A boil advisory would be issued should liquid oxygen run out.

Some 14,500 Floridians are hospitalized with COVID-19, a slight decline from recent record highs. 

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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 »