Plains mayor lifts water restrictions
September 16, 2021
The mayor of Plains declared at last week’s council meeting that he was rescinding the mandatory water restrictions now that the area has had some cooler days and precipitation. At the same time, council members passed the second reading of the “Emergency Ordinance and Ordinance to Adopt Procedure to Reduce Water Use During Emergency Conditions.”
With the new ordinance approved and in place, the town would not have to go through the time of voting on it again; the mayor has the authority to renew water restrictions in the future.
The first reading of the ordinance was passed August 2 and because it was an emergency mandate it went into effect immediately. A non-emergency ordinance wouldn’t go into effect until 30 days after the second reading, said Mayor Dan Rowan. “I think it made a big difference,” said Rowan, who first initiated volunteer water restrictions in July, but he didn’t believe it was working. Prior to the ordinance, people were using over 500,000 gallons a day, but afterward, it went down to about 300,000 gallons.
The mandatory restrictions were put in place at the start of August because the town had experienced extraordinary demand on its water supply, capacity and water reserves brought on by the drought. The ordinance stated that the town was unable to meet the continuing high demand for water. The mayor said the pumps from its two wells had been operating beyond their design capacity. He wanted also to make sure that the town had sufficient water in the event of fire.
“I believe it was really successful. I’m thankful that everybody came together and conserved water,” said Rowan. There were no fines issued during the restrictions, but Rowan said there were a couple of people that he had to talk with who were unaware of the ordinance.