The Edmond Sun

Local News

July 31, 2012

Edmond residents encouraged to conserve water

Water rationing a possibility during drought

EDMOND — Edmond could face water rationing if its water demand continues to rise by the amount used each day within the community, said Kris Neifing, Water Resources superintendent.

Residents are encouraged to conserve water as much as possible during the drought in order to prevent water rationing.

“It is important for residents to understand the critical nature water conservation takes on when our community experiences a rainfall shortage and extremely high temperatures, Neifing said.

Since July 22 the City of Edmond has been purchasing  2-4 million gallons of water a day from Oklahoma City.

The city’s ability to recover its storage tanks in the water system triggers the need for purchasing water when the demand reaches 20 million gallons a day, said Ashleigh Clark, public information officer.

Severe heat hovering over south-central regions of the U.S. continues to intensify drought conditions, according to the National Weather Service.

Temperatures in Edmond are forecast to reach a high of 109 degrees on Wednesday after a forecast of 109 degrees on Tuesday. Sunny and hot conditions are expected to persist through the weekend, according to NWS.

“Our water facilities are some of the best in the industry for a city our size. This component, along with long term resource planning, helps with consistent water rates.” Neifing said. “We want to maintain our level of service and high quality product and by doing this, we hope to help educate the importance of conserving water.”

Edmond has 56 water wells, a water plant storage facilities. Water conservation helps to protect a dependable water supply used for fire suppression, a critical factor for every resident and business owner, Neifing said.

“In the winter months we try to maintain 80 percent capacity in all of our towers and ground storage tanks. In the past week we have been less than 40 percent of our storage capacity,” Neifing said.

The city is working on a Water Conservation campaign to educate the community on the importance of long term, future planning for water resources. Each Edmond resident can play a role in water conservation, Neifing said.

“This is important not only in the critical time of year when temps reach well over 100 degrees in consecutive days, but also with the day to day activities like showering, brushing teeth, running water and watering lawns,” he said. “Every little bit of conservation helps and by promoting this need through our new ad campaign, we hope to reduce water consumption in Edmond and maintain the consistent capacity levels needed to service our community.”

The city normally produces 8-million gallons of water a day in the winter. The more water is used, the more it will cost.

Summertime’s peak for water usage has resulted in as much as 24 million gallons a day, Neifing said. The city’s additional water purchasing cost from Oklahoma City ranges between $10,000 and $20,000 a day, he added.

The City of Edmond is charged $4.84 per thousand gallons of water purchased from Oklahoma City, Neifing said. A cost of $5.75 per thousand gallons is the highest tiered water rate for the water user.

“This means that we are recovering the costs of pumping water to our system but not bringing in revenue to fund capital projects in our system.” Neifing said.

A major part in the 50-year plan was to get everyone to conserve more water. The city is working on a master plan for the water and wastewater systems.

“This will take the 50-year water supply plan and move to the next step which is capital planning,” Neifing said. “In the master plan we will look to address our water production and help us during these peak times.” | 341-2121


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