Dry weather is prompting advisories about water use in some Iowa communities. Sheldon Public Works Director Todd Uhl has been monitoring water levels in his city’s wells and just issued a “water watch” in Sheldon on Thursday.
“Our usage has been creeping up lately and then this week it has absolutely skyrocketed to a point where we feel it’s time to start the ‘water watch’ and hopefully we can get some compliance and people will do some conservation,” he said, “and that will prevent us, hopefully, from having to go to mandatory restrictions.”
At this point in May, residents in Sheldon used about 900,000 gallons of water per day. On Wednesday of this week, more than 1.5 million gallons of water were used.
“The previous peak day that I had ever seen in Sheldon was just over 1.3 million so our usage has really jumped drastically in a very short amount of time,” Uhl said.
Water use typically declines in the evening, but Uhl said this week it’s increased.
“You ride around town and there’s a lot of lawn watering going on,” Uhl said. “I understand people would like to keep a green lawn and I know there was a lot of lawn loss last year with the drought and some winter kill, so people and keep them looking good.”
Uhl said lawn and garden watering is still allowed in Sheldon, but with the recommendation that it happen after 8:30 p.m. Uhl said he’s hoping Sheldon residents take steps to limit or curtail all non-essential water usage, so restrictions won’t be necessary. Restaurants in Shelton are being encouraged to serve customers water only when requested and water should not be used to fill swimming pools or wash parking lots or driveways.
(Reporting by Tom Traughber, KIWA, Sheldon)