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Water Watch-Daily Usage
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July 19, 2002
For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831
Jerry Obrist, Lincoln Water System, 441-5930
Lynn Johnson, Parks and Recreation, 441-8265

Mayor Institutes Mandatory Water Restrictions

Mayor Don Wesely today implemented mandatory water restrictions due to decreased river flows and high levels of water use during the hot, dry weather. Beginning at 12:01 a.m. Saturday July 20, Lincoln residents are REQUIRED to follow an odd-even alternate day outdoor water use schedule until further notice. Properties with street addresses ending in an even number may only water their lawns and wash cars and other vehicles on even-numbered days. Those with addresses ending in odd numbers may only water on odd-numbered days. This is the first time since 1974 that mandatory water restrictions have been implemented in Lincoln.

"I want to thank Lincoln residents for their voluntary conservation efforts, but the continuing drought conditions now make mandatory measures necessary," said Mayor. "Limiting outdoor water use will have the biggest positive impact. Our priority is to make sure that water for drinking and for emergency use remain at adequate levels."

The City’s last significant rain fell the weekend of July 5, and the official amount recorded so far this month is 1.23 inches. The official rainfall total for Lincoln was .17 inches for the month of June. The normal June rainfall is 3.54 inches..

Mayor Wesely initially asked for citizens to conserve water June 25. The Mayor institute a voluntary odd-even outdoor watering schedule July 6.

Those with questions about the restrictions can all the Lincoln Water System (LWS) at 441-7571. The City’s Water Management plan calls for the following measures:

  • Sod that has been installed for less than 30 days may be watered every day. A permit from the Building and Safety Department is needed, and receipts and proof of purchase date will be required.
  • Commercial nurseries are exempt but are asked to curtail all non-essential water use.
  • Commercial car washing facilities may operate.
  • The operation of all fountains is prohibited.
  • The watering of golf course tees is permitted on alternative days. Watering greens is permitted, but watering fairways is prohibited.
  • Washing sidewalks, driveways and other paved areas is prohibited.
  • Re-filling or adding water to private swimming pools and wading pools may occur only between midnight and 6 a.m. Draining these pools is prohibited except for an end of season closure.
  • Filling or re-filling public pools must be approved by the Mayor.
  • No jet flushing of sanitary or storm sewers shall use drinkable water, unless it is necessary to prevent imminent danger to health and safety.

According to City ordinance, the LWS may turn off the water to those locations disregarding the restrictions. The water will not be turned on again until the costs of turning it off and on is paid to LWS and a $100 bond has been filed.

"It is critical that citizens comply with these restrictions," said Allan Abbott, Director of Public Works and Utilities. "We have limited staff to respond to calls on possible violations. If someone in your neighborhood is watering on the wrong day, they may not know about the restrictions and penalties. We ask people to be good neighbors in keeping their streets in compliance – contact the individual before you call us."

The city Parks and Recreation Department began taking water conservation measures July 2. The County-City Public Building Commission put all local government facilities on the odd-even watering system July 9.

In addition to following the odd-even system, the Lincoln Water System recommends:

  • watering during the cool part of the day.
  • not watering when it is windy.
  • adjusting sprinklers to water only the lawn, and not the sidewalk or street.
  • using a broom, not a hose and water, for outdoor cleaning.
  • washing your car with a pail of soapy water, using the hose only to rinse the car.

City residents are also reminded that water fees are structured to encourage conservation. Information on water rates can be found on the City web site at under Public Works and Utilities.

Water Pumpage Totals for Summer 2002

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