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Mandatory restrictions remain in effect
Mayor Don Wesely today thanked Lincoln residents for cutting back on water usage this past week in response to the city’s water emergency. Mandatory water restrictions went into effect Saturday, July 20 for the first time since 1974. Under the current restrictions, properties with street addresses ending in even numbers may water their lawns and wash cars and other vehicles only on even-numbered days. Those with addresses ending in odd numbers may water only on odd-numbered days.
"Our goal has been to use no more than 65 million gallons daily, and because of citizen cooperation, that goal was reached yesterday," said Mayor Wesely. "We are asking the public to continue to do all they can to conserve water to avoid additional mandatory restrictions."
The latest water usage amounts are posted daily on the City web site at Usage has been below 70 million gallons the past four days, and Thursday’s total was 65.4 million gallons.
Recent rains in the Platte River basin have increased water flow at the City’s Ashland well fields to about 1,000 cubic feet per second (CFS). The flow had dropped to about 650 CFS yesterday, and without more rain, the flow is expected to drop again.
Violations of the emergency water regulations are addressed by two separate City departments:
As of noon today, no customers have had their water shut off, but the Lincoln Water System (LWS) has sent out about 50 warning letters. The Lincoln Police Department has not yet issued any citations.
The City is asking citizens who see violations to contact the property owner to make sure they understand the regulations before calling LWS or the Lincoln Police Department. The LWS number for information and complaints is 441-7571.
Mayor Wesely initially asked for citizens to conserve water June 25. The Mayor instituted a voluntary odd-even outdoor watering schedule July 6. The City Parks and Recreation Department began taking water conservation measures July 2. The County-City Public Building Commission put all local government facilities on the odd-even watering system July 9.
The rules for mandatory water restrictions include the following measures:
In addition to following the odd-even system, the LWS recommends watering during the cool part of the day; not watering when it is windy; adjusting sprinklers to water only the lawn, and not the sidewalk or street; using a broom, not a hose and water, for outdoor cleaning; and washing cars with a pail of soapy water, using the hose only to rinse the car.
City residents are also reminded that water fees are structured to encourage conservation. Information on water rates can be found on the City web site.