Mahaska County Community Asks Residents To Conserve Water
Oskaloosa, Iowa – The thunder and lightning filled the sky over Mahaska County recently, but finding out how much your rain gauge was filled depended upon your location. Anything from trace amounts to the north, to nearly half an inch in some sections of western Mahaska County.
Water conservation measures are being put into place in the northern Mahaska County community of New Sharon, where they are asking their residents to start conserving.
New Sharon pulls their water from wells along the North Skunk River. As the drought conditions worsen the river continues to recede, but at the same time demands continue to increase as residents are now concerned about their lawns and gardens.
“Right now we’re just trying to conserve,” says New Sharon City Clerk Diane Brand. “Only water your garden if it’s your major source of food.”
Things the city are asking residents to refrain from are “from watering lawns and plants, washing cars, and any other nonessential uses. The City will also be temporarily suspending its bulk water sales except in cases of necessity.”
New Sharon normally pumps around 170,000 gallons of water per day, but with the drought having a grip on the area the demand has gone up to nearly 200,000 gallons per day, with the pumps running non-stop.
Just to the northeast of New Sharon is the community of Montezuma. For that community, there continues to be enough water. Montezuma draws its water supply from a nearby lake.
Montezuma Water Manager Bill Moore says that, “we’re not having any problem, we can use all we want.” Moore says that Montezuma’s biggest water issue is the continuing work on the water plant, that has been going on for nearly a year and a half.
Moore says that usage hasn’t increased until recently, and says that previously, the plant had seen a reduction on demand because of water recycling efforts by local manufacturing.
Mahaska Rural Water reports that, currently, no water restrictions are in place, with no plan for any such restrictions in the near future.
Oskaloosa Water Department General Manager Chad Coon also reports that the alluvial aquifer that supplies water to Oskaloosa is currently able to supply the needs of water users. The wells are located along the South Skunk River in the alluvial aquifer.
An alluvial aquifer is defined as an area of water-bearing sand and gravel typically found near lakes, streams and rivers.
If your interested in practicing water conservation, there are many websites such as this one to help you get started.