Utilities are being stressed with the extreme heat and water systems are no different. The Des Moines Water Works has issued a “peak alert” and Gary Benjamin, assistant general manager for the central Iowa system, is asking customers to rotate lawn and garden irrigation, based on their street address.
“We would like to see people kind of adopt an an even/odd watering,” Benjamin says, “so if your house number ends in an odd number, if you could water during the odd (numbered) days, and then the even house numbers water during the even (numbered) days and that kind of evens out the usage rather than everybody using it on a Monday or a Saturday.”
Spokesmen for the water systems in Cedar Rapids and Sioux City have also seen an increase in water usage, but officials in Sioux City and Cedar Rapids do not see a need to start water rationing in either city. Rick Mach, the water plant superintendent in Sioux City, says water usage isn’t as high as it was in peak times last year.
“I think because it’s been such a long and dry spell people have given up on watering their lawns,” he says. “You see an awful lot of brown lawns, at least around Sioux City.” On an average day, water usage in Sioux City is 13 million gallons. Mach says they’re currently pumping around over 20 million gallons per day.