Dry Winter and Low Water Levels Indicate Need for Water Conservation

The Osceola Water Works strongly encourages residents to watch water consumption in this dry winter weather.

So far, Iowa’s weather hasn’t delivered on the necessary average snowfall of 25 inches that South-Central Iowa usually receives. While Osceola has seen some snow recently, totals are well below what is expected and needed to sustain water usage in Osceola and surrounding communities. Low water levels in West Lake currently measure at 5 feet below normal pool. If the area doesn’t receive significant precipitation soon, levels could drop even further.

When normal pool reaches a deficit of 6 feet or more, Osceola Water Board will begin issuing water conservation measures in accordance with the city’s Water Conservation Ordinance. By simply taking some voluntary precautions now, users can potentially avoid mandatory restrictions in the future.

The Water Conservation Ordinance is made up of four steps:

  1. Water Watch
  2. Water Warning
  3. Water Emergency and
  4. Water Crisis

The steps escalate from voluntary measures to enforced restrictions compounded at each level of needed conservation. Currently, the low water levels at West Lake are approaching the need to issue a Water Watch, the first level in the Water Conservation Ordinance.

Osceola Water Works encourages all customers to be mindful of their water usage.

Here are suggestions of voluntary steps Osceola residents can take today to avoid stricter measures:

  • Fix leaking faucets or toilets in your home or business and report any large leaks or broken pipes immediately.
  • Watch your water utility bill for unusually high use which can indicate a hidden leak in your home or business.
  • Reduce water usage by shortening showers, washing dishes or clothes only when the load is full.

If the water levels continue to fall, every business and homeowner will be faced with water use restrictions. Even though we aren’t at the Water Watch stage yet, the Osceola Water Works firmly recommends voluntary water conservation measures at this time.

If you have questions concerning your use of water or conservation measures during shortages, you can contact Brandon Patterson, Water Superintendent at the Osceola Water Works, 208 W Jefferson St, Osceola, IA 50213, phone: (641) 342-1435, email: osceolawater2@windstream.net.

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