Montgomery watering restrictions in effect : News : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
|Montgomery watering restrictions in effect|
|Village water customers asked to abide by 'odd-even' day limitation|
|by John Etheredge|
As this summer's drought-like conditions continue, Village of Montgomery officials are asking the village's water customers to abide by the village's water conservation ordinance.
The ordinance limits village water customers from sprinkling their lawns to alternating days between May 1 and Sept. 1.
Residents with odd numbered home addresses are permitted to water on odd numbered days between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. and from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. only. Residents with even numbered addresses may water during the same limited hours on even numbered days.
Peter Wallers, president of Engineering Enterprises, Inc., engineering consultants for the village, and Mike Pubentz, the village's public works director, told the village board Monday evening they are continuing to monitor weather conditions, rainfall numbers and water consumption.
The village provides water to homes and businesses in the village and to the unincorporated Boulder Hill Subdivision located immediately south of the village.
Wallers said the number of gallons of water being pumped from local wells has increased over the past few weeks.
"We average on a typical day about 2.5 million gallons (of water pumped), but last week we were pumping about 3.9 million gallons per day," he said.
Wallers said the village and the 74 other municipalities that are members of the Northwest Water Planning Alliance are asking their water customers to voluntarily limit their water usage.
"If you don't need to water your lawn, perhaps, don't do that and be a little bit more selective about the times when you do water," he said.
Wallers added the village has the capability of meeting the increased demand for water, but notes its source of water-deep, underground aquifers-are "challenged in the long-term" to supply the village and other municipalities throughout northeastern Illinois.
Board member Andy Kaczmarek asked Wallers and Pubentz if they might consider recommending a total ban on watering as a preventive measure.
Pubentz said he, Wallers and public works staffers will continue to monitor water levels at each of the villages wells on a daily basis.
Pubentz said a sharp decrease in water levels at the well would signal a "call for action" and the implementation of a watering ban.
Village President Marilyn Michelini, however, said she hasn't noticed many people watering their lawns in her own neighborhood and as she travels around the village.
"I think people are being pretty conservative," Michelini said.
Board member Denny Lee said it is usually easy to spot homeowners who have been watering frequently because they have green lawns.
"But I haven't seen any (green lawns) anywhere," Lee said.
Pubentz noted that during the summer months some residents will call the public works department to report their neighbors when they are watering their lawns in violation of the ordinance.
"So far this year, those calls have been few and far between," he said, adding, "I think we are getting pretty good voluntary compliance with the ordinance right now."
Pubentz told board members that village officials use a "multi-tier" method to enforce its water conservation ordinance.
He said for a first offense public works or code enforcement staff members place a door hanger notice at homes when they see a lawn being watering in violation of the ordinance.
"There is no fine or criminal charge attached to it," Pubentz said of the door hangers, adding, "Our intent is to make people aware of the ordinance."
Compliance tickets are issued to second-time offenders, Pubentz said.
The tickets can include a fine of $25 to $50 and can be attached to resident's water bills.
"If a ticket goes unpaid (as part of a water bill), we can turn off water service," Pubentz said.
Residents who continue to violate the ordinance can be subject to ticketing by village police and ordered to appear in court, according to Pubentz.
If drought-like conditions continue for an extended period of time, Pubentz said Michelini can issue a proclamation banning all lawn watering.