The local raw water supply remains lower than usual, and Sioux Center remains in a Water Watch.
“This spring, our east wells started at 3 feet below their average level of water,” said Sioux Center Water Department Head Harlan Kruid. “Our west wells are less susceptible to drought, but one of those wells is out of commission. We’re replacing it this month.”
In a Water Watch, residents and businesses are asked to voluntarily limit watering to twice a week, between the hours of 8 p.m. and 10 a.m. Residents are also asked to avoid washing cars at home on week days, but adjusting lawn watering has the biggest impact on water supply, With the Water Watch, Sioux Center has lowered its average daily use by up to 300,000 gallons a day this month.
“We have seen customers’ participation and we thank them for that,” Kruid said. “We’re encouraging continued participation because we’re still seeing the aquifers trend downward. Even with conscientious usage, the east wells still dropped a foot in the past month.”
Although Sioux Center has received rain, the ground is dry, so not much is able to seep down to the east aquifer. Kruid said it will take very significant rains to replenish it.
If the water shortage poses a serious threat on the system’s ability to meet water needs, the City can elevate the status to a Water Warning, which officially limits lawn watering amounts and hours and prohibits car washing except at commercial car washes. If the situation grows even more severe, the City could declare a Water Emergency, prohibiting lawn irrigation and car washing, including at commercial car washes.
“Be conscious we’re not out of it yet. We’re guessing with higher temps ahead, we’ll see another jump in use,” Kruid said. “Remember the water you use today may be the water you want down the road.”
The full section of code relating to water conservation is available at www.siouxcenter.org/waterplan.
The Sioux Center Water Department provides quality water to more than 2,500 customers, drawn from local aquifers and treated to exceed all federal and state standards. Sioux Center Municipal Utilities is anticipating the connection to the Lewis & Clark Regional Water System in 2023, which will add to the community's high-quality water supply.