For a second summer in a row, Prairie City water customers are being asked to stop all outside watering, including sprinkling lawns and gardens.
“The city of Prairie City appreciates our citizens’ continued efforts in water conservation,” Public Works Director Chris Camarena said in a press release. “Please note that due to continued demands on our water system caused by drought conditions and low water table levels, we are asking that consumers restrict outside usage of city municipal water.”
Water customers are advised that municipal water should be used for consumption and sanitation only so the city can maintain a safe water level in its reservoir for fire emergencies and sanitary usage, Camarena said.
The city imposed water restrictions last summer after a June 26 electrical storm damaged electronic controls for the city’s water system. The water level in the city’s million-gallon reservoir dropped to four feet through the summer.
Since then, crews have cleaned plugged perforations in the No. 2 well’s casing, which boosted the well’s output from 50 gallons per minute to 100 gpm. The city also drilled its No. 3 well another 60 feet to access deeper water. Camarena said they may have to consider drilling the No. 3 well to 800 feet this winter.
This past winter’s low snowpack and ongoing drought conditions are blamed for the water shortage. Camarena said the city’s water customers went to every-other-day outside watering a few weeks ago, but the reservoir level dropped below the emergency level of 20 feet.
For more information, call Camarena at 541-620-3100 or city hall at 541-820-3605.