Conserve water--pleads Perham City
Despite the city's water restrictions, water use has not lowered. In fact, water usage has been up since the restrictions went into force July 15. "I'm really surprised. We've never had to enforce our water restrictions. We've asked for cooperati...
Despite the city's water restrictions, water use has not lowered.
In fact, water usage has been up since the restrictions went into force July 15.
"I'm really surprised. We've never had to enforce our water restrictions. We've asked for cooperation, and we usually get it from the residents," said Perham public works superintendent Merle Meece.
Perham water usage had been averaging 1.61 million gallons per day since the restrictions were announced. Prior to July 14, usage averaged 1.57 million gallons per day.
A "normal" July will average about 1.1 million gallons per day.
"Usage actually went up. People are still watering their lawns, washing vehicles. People are watering more than they need to," said Meece. "If we don't see some improvement, it will become a complete ban, and we'll have to enforce it."
Residents are asked to refrain from washing cars at their home, washing driveways, filling pools and watering lawns and gardens if possible.
If your house number is odd, you may water on odd days such as the 25, 27, 29, etc. If your house number is even, you may water on the even days such as the 24, 26, 28, etc. Watering should be done from dusk to dawn.
"Sprinklers shouldn't be running during the day. It's a total waste of water, because its just evaporating," said Meece. "People don't realize how much water they waste.
What really has Meece concerned is August, which historically has the highest daily use--at about 1.3 million gallons per day. "We're already at August levels or higher."
Consumption during July was at its lowest July 4th, with .779 million gallons but the month's highest was 2.589 on July 13.
This amount is close to the maximum the wells can produce.
The city has five pumps, but two are back-up and are not intended for extensive operation; they do not pump the volume that the main pumps do. The two main pumps are running 24-hours a day, said Meece, but if one of them goes down, it could affect the fire department.
"That's a major issue. If we had an industrial fire,we could have trouble getting enough water," said Meece.
Meece noted that, some residents mistakenly believe that it is Perham's large industries that are the main drain on the water system. But that's not the case. According to Meece, production levels at these industrial operations is stable. For example, said Meece, in the winter, the average daily usage city-wide is only 667,000 gallons a day.
Home and business owners are asked to make every effort to conserve. Lawn and garden watering are permitted on alternate days.
"We don't want to be as strict, and start shutting down water at the curb, to individual homes," said Meece.