Minneapolis

For the first time in decades, St. Paul calls for even-odd outdoor watering

2021-07-20 17:17:35 –

St. Paul Regional Water Services is asking residents to water their lawns less frequently and during cooler times of day due to drought conditions — a step the agency hasn’t taken since the historically dry summer of 1988, said Patrick Shea, the utility’s general manager.

The regional supplier, which serves about 425,000 customers in St. Paul and some suburbs, is recommending that locals restrict their outdoor watering to every other day. Those with odd-numbered addresses are encouraged to use their sprinklers on odd-numbered days of the month, while those with even-numbered addresses do the opposite.

The utility is also asking customers to water their lawns and gardens before noon or after 6 p.m. to minimize evaporation. Exceptions include commercial uses of outdoor water and the watering of new sod or seed.

Shea said St. Paul Regional Water Services is not enforcing compliance with its guidelines as of Tuesday, though that could change if the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) shifts into a more restrictive phase of its drought plan.

On Friday, the DNR sent a letter to water suppliers across the state calling on communities to cut their summer water use to 50% above their January levels.

“The 10-day forecast looks quite nice, but no rain is included. River levels are looking more and more likely to put us in that more extreme phase,” which will require public suppliers to reduce water use even more, Shea said.

If that happens, St. Paul could have to start fining residents who don’t abide by watering restrictions, though Shea said the utility would likely first issue warnings.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Minneapolis had not put sprinkling restrictions in place, but staff said last week that the city is prepared to shift to an even-odd watering schedule if the drought continues.

Both St. Paul and Minneapolis get their water from the Mississippi River, which has approached historic lows in some areas, according to the National Weather Service.

Shea said he does not expect the drought to affect customers’ personal water needs, but the St. Paul supplier has encouraged residents to take shorter showers, turn off faucets while brushing teeth and run dishwashers only when fully loaded.

Katie Galioto • 612-673-4478

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For the first time in decades, St. Paul calls for even-odd outdoor watering Source link For the first time in decades, St. Paul calls for even-odd outdoor watering

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