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Orlando Officials: Conserve Water To Save Oxygen For Coronavirus Patients

Stanton Energy Center. Photo by Amy Green
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.

Amy Green covered the environment for WMFE until 2023. Her work included the 2020 podcast DRAINED.