Butler County Times Gazette
  • Optimism on ending water restrictions

  • Shaw is cautiously optimistic that a continuation of our recent weather pattern could lead to lifting watering restrictions.
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  • If the wet weather pattern continues, it could be the soggy summer Augusta residents have been waiting for.
    Outdoor watering restrictions have been in place for two years in Augusta due to a severe drought and the new dam and spillway project that forced the city to drain the municipal lake.
    Santa Fe Lake is full and water was roaring over the spillway after Monday night's deluge. (See video at http://www.augustagazette.com/section?template=videodetail&vid=2577596184001&vidtitle=Santa%20Fe%20Lake%20spillway)
    Interim City Manager Josh Shaw said the City Lake rose more than a foot after Monday's storm and the wet week preceding it.
    Factors leading to the lake refilling include saturated ground and all of the ponds in surrounding neighborhoods being full. Rain is pushing water in those ponds over their spillways and that water is flowing into the lake.
    Shaw is cautiously optimistic that a continuation of our recent weather pattern could lead to Augusta lifting watering restrictions.
    "I'm not sure about the water restrictions quite yet. However, this weekend looks promising for rain once again, and with the ground saturated the way it is right now, we have a great chance for runoff," Shaw said. " If storms keep coming the way they have been, removing the water restrictions could be a real possibility in the coming months."
    The City Council considers the watering restrictions at every meeting and Monday is their next opportunity to discuss them. It is unlikely that even a wet weekend would mean the end to the restrictions immediately.
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