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Barely June, and already water issues worry city

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It wasn't even June yet, and Perham's municipal water pumps were already straining under the pressure of operating full force, 24-hours-a-day.

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The recent rain should help, but as of May 28, city public works director Merle Meece was concerned about the city's water supply.

Lawn watering had been at an unusually high level because of the recent dry, windy weather.

Historically, the two main city pumps haven't geared up into 24 hour operation until further into the summer weeks.

"Be more conservative with your watering," is the simple message from Meece. He urges homeowners to water at night, preferably from about 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.

This is also the most effective time, because there is less evaporation than during the heat of the day, noted Meece, at the May 28 city council session.

Last summer, the city implemented lawn watering controls and restrictions because of the stress on the water supply and equipment.

A water expansion is on the horizon for Perham--including a new 1 million gallon water tower--twice the capacity of the existing tower.

The project is in the bidding process now, but isn't expected to be operational until 2009.

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