Butler County Times Gazette
  • No easy solutions for city's water issues, restrictions

  • Watering restrictions remain in effect in the city as they have been since July of 2011.
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  • Councilor Ron Reavis still isn’t convinced that the city needs to maintain its emergency water restrictions.
    “I had a couple of people come to me after the last meeting,” Reavis said after he “went out on a limb” in saying he thought the city was past the emergency that required the restrictions. “Both of them had concerns about not having new lawns and washing their cars.”
    Reavis said he didn’t understand why the city allowed commercial car washes to remain open but restricted people from washing their cars at their homes except for a few hours a week. He also said one lawn care company owner told him that having bare lawns would result in dirt being washed out of these lawns and into the city’s storm sewer system and eventually into the lake as silt.
    City manager Bill Keefer said the issue is not about bare lawns.
    “People who have never had a lawn and install one may apply for a permit to keep the area from being bare ground,” Keefer said. “Bare yards should be covered. But we have seen a steady increase in water usage so I know there are a lot of people ignoring the restrictions already.”
    No action was taken so the watering restrictions remain in effect in the city as they have been since July of 2011. However, the excess water usage fees will not be billed after the Oct. 15, 2012 billing cycle.
    Willis Wilson of Aquatech Inc. then spoke to the city about their options to address the water supply in the near and long term.
    Wilson told the council that the tests on the Walnut River water would be complete in a week or so. These tests will let the council know if the water in the river is even useable as a supply to keep the city’s lake full during the nine months of the year that removing water from the river is allowable.
    The city would have to develop a delivery system, siltation system and secure water rights from the river if the plan to keep the lake full heading into peak usage times were to be successful.
    Wilson also recapped the council on what type of line runs in the five sections from El Dorado Lake and how old the lines are in each section. He also gave an estimate on how much each section would cost to replace.
    There was also some discussion of using a sleeve installed inside the current lines to extend their life.
    Wilson said the cost of this type of project would be similar to replacement of the line.
    Page 2 of 2 - “By lining it, we gain no capacity,” Councilor Sue Jones said. “One of the main issues is we need additional capacity.”
    No action was taken on this discussion. More movement is expected as test results become available.

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