Citycontinues to encourage water conservation efforts

Published on Thu, Aug 3, 2006
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City continues to encourage
water conservation efforts

The city of Blaine and Birch Bay Water and Sewer District are requesting voluntary conservation to help manage the water supply during the current period of hot and dry weather.

Officials at the two municipalities report that water usage has temporarily surged beyond the capacity of the city’s wellfield, which is normally 3.5 million gallons per day.

Compounding this high demand situation, two separate electrical equipment malfunctions at two wells over the past two weeks disabled the pumps at these wells, reducing normal daily production by about eight percent during one episode, and 18 percent during the other. The combination of these factors has caused storage levels to drop by about one-third.

The water supply system is designed to meet demand during normal periods by pumping water from city wells and drawing on city and district storage tanks when needed for peak needs like fire fighting or higher summer use.

It is less expensive for ratepayers to meet peak requirements with a combination of pumping and storage plus conservation rather than with pumping alone.

As demand grows, new water sources are brought on line.
For example, the city has enhanced production capacity by bringing a new well (No. 4.2) online this summer.

Further improvements are being planned for next year. Meanwhile, to help rebuild storage levels, the city and district are asking their customers to use water wisely, especially outdoors.

Here are a few tips for conserving water:
Don’t water when it’s not needed – it usually only takes about one inch of watering per week to maintain a healthy lawn.
If your lawn has started to turn brown, consider letting it go dormant for the summer. This means less mowing and a much lower water bill. The dormant lawn will return to its green hue naturally when fall brings cooler weather and increased rainfall.
Mulch flower beds to retain moisture.
Set sprinklers carefully to avoid watering the street and sidewalk. For more information, call 332-8820 or 371-7100.