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Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

New Bremen officials ask residents to conserve water

By Shelley Grieshop
NEW BREMEN - Village officials are asking New Bremen residents to voluntarily curtail water use to avoid depletion of the town's wells.
Mayor Jeff Pape on Tuesday issued an immediate water use advisory for drinking water because dry weather conditions have driven water usage 33 percent above the normal levels for July.
Residents are asked to avoid all unnecessary usage such as watering lawns, washing cars or running ornamental fountains.
"This is a very delicate situation that could easily turn into an emergency. Our concern is that if any of our wells are depleted, it could take days or weeks to recharge them, and we would have an emergency," he said. "We hope that residents fully observe these voluntary measures, which should help avoid mandatory restrictions."
Residents are further advised to postpone fertilizer applications that require watering until normal rainfall resumes.
The water use advisory will continue until water usage returns to normal levels, officials said.
The July 2010 average daily use was 403,000 gallons for village utility customers. On Tuesday, usage tallied 537,000 gallons.
The village's system of wells typically delivers 250,000 to 400,000 gallons per day, according to Greg Dennings, superintendent of the water department. The wells can supply upwards of 800,000 gallons for a single day if run continuously but that doesn't allow the wells sufficient time to recharge, he said.
"As recently as Sunday ... we were pumping under 300,000 gallons per day," Dennings said.
Village Administrator Wayne York said the town also is taking immediate steps to cut back on its water usage.
"The watershed fountain and automatic irrigation systems in Lock One Park are being turned off in order to save water and to set the right example," he said. "The only watering that New Bremen will do will use either canal water or water collected from the final discharge at the wastewater treatment plant."
The locations that will continue to be watered are the newly seeded areas of Kuest ditch along North Eastmoor Drive and the electric department at 555 Streine Drive. Also on the list are various trees around town, York said.
"If residents see our tanker trailer in use, it is not carrying drinking water," he added.
If residents have questions, they are asked to contact the village office at 419-629-3423.
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