Bargersville is asking residents to consider conserving water after an unusually dry month.
Water use during May broke records in Bargersville, utilities superintendent Mike Davis said. Residents used more than 6 million gallons a day for a few days last month, or more than the plant can produce.
Such heavy usage typically happens during July or August, but not during May, Davis said. That’s a problem since the town’s water plant has a capacity of 5.4 million gallons a day.
If needed, the plant can produce more water but could suffer mechanical damage if it can’t be shut down at night for maintenance, Davis said.
“It’s like the engine of a car,” he said. “It’ll wear down without the proper maintenance.”
Last summer, the town had to issue emergency requests that residents conserve water, after the water tanks were empty and the town’s water plant was at risk of damage from overuse. Bargersville’s water plant ran around the clock for more than a week, and the shortage raised concerns that firefighters might not have enough water to put out fires.
Heavy water usage is becoming a problem again this year, Davis said. The water plant has been running around the clock for the past four days because residents have been using more than 6 million gallons each day.
Bargersville is in the process of building a second water plant, which will increase capacity, but it won’t be up and running until September at the earliest, Davis said.
The town could again suffer emergency shortages of water if the summer continues to be as dry as it’s been so far.
The town is asking the 10,000 residents and businesses who get their water to consider limiting how much water they use, such as when they water their lawns.
The town’s utility included an insert in water bills that asked residents to take water-savings steps such as watching for run-off into the streets and not watering their lawns every day.
The town also asks residents to consider:
Not watering between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. so less water is lost to evaporation.
Reducing watering times because an inch of water per week is enough to keep a lawn healthy.
Watering lawns only when grass shows signs of stress.
Using drip lines for landscaping and trees.
Letting grass grow to 3 inches in hotter weather.
Making sure the dishwasher is full before running.
Washing full loads of clothes whenever possible.
Checking for dripping fixtures and toilet leaks.
Installing “low flow” toilets if possible.
Reducing shower time to no more than 5 minutes.
Covering pools anytime they are not in use.
Washing cars from a single bucket of water.