City of Kenai residents are now asked to water lawns on Sundays only, in an increased effort to conserve water from the city’s wells.
Due to growing water use by city residents, the city has not been able to fill its reservoir. In response, the city is asking that watering be done one day a week. Residents are asked to resume full water conservation measures on all other days of the week.
The city previously suspended the water use restrictions for two days per week.
Kenai Public Works director, Sean Wedemeyer, said the city’s reservoir was measured Monday at 19.4 feet. Full capacity for the reservoir is 23 feet, which is approximately 3 million gallons.
“We are gaining ground,” Wedemeyer said. “But we still have a little way to go.”
Kenai’s water shortage began in early June as city residents began consuming water at high rates due to the warm temperatures.
Residents were asked not to water lawns in voluntary measures to conserve water.
Wedemeyer said water utility users have been doing their part to help conservation efforts.
“People absolutely have been assisting in and complying with our request,” he said.
Although residents are urged to only water their lawns on Sunday, they are asked to make use of early morning or later evening times when the sun will not cause as much of the water to evaporate.
Wedemeyer said residents could water on Sunday, just keeping to the use to normal levels.
“Otherwise please don’t use water unnecessarily,” he said.
Residents are also asked to limit other unnecessary uses of water and activities that include washing vehicles and exterior home surfaces, as well as driveways and sidewalks. In addition, other conservation methods should be employed including turning off faucets completely and using washing machines and dishwashers only with a full load.
According to the National Weather Service, there is likelihood that Kenai should see partly cloudy skies through Wednesday, with scattered showers. Thursday through Sunday may bring mostly cloudy skies with rain. Rain would also help decrease the need to water lawns.
Kenai supplies homes and businesses with water from a three-well system, which produces 1 million gallons of water a day. Without residents restricting their normal water use, Kenai can consume up to 1.4 million gallons daily.
A new fourth well is expected to be in service around mid-September and conclude Kenai’s three-year project to address water needs.
Wedemeyer said once the new well is tied into Kenai’s public utility system, residents would no longer need to conserve water.
“Once that’s online, we will have more water than we will know what to do with,” he said.
Sara J. Hardan can be reached at email@example.com.