Huntley Asks Residents to Conserve Water, Inside and Outside
Water use restriction remains Code Yellow but could change to Code Red, officials warn.
Huntley is once again asking for residents’ cooperation to adhere to a water use restriction _ and adding a plea to conserve water indoors too_ as the National Weather Service classifies drought conditions as severe in McHenry County.
If the village continues pumping an estimated 4.5 million gallons a day, it may have to set stricter water use restrictions, Director of Public Works Jim Schwartz said Friday.
Water use restrictions remain under a Code Yellow, which allows outdoor watering between 6 to 9 a.m. and 6 to 9 p.m. Public works crews had been issued copies of the village water use ordinance to residents found in violation. Now, crews will issue tickets, Schwartz said.
The village is concerned that ongoing water use, particularly outdoor use for laws, won’t change and will lead to a Code Red.
A Code Red prohibits the use of outside water for any purpose, according to a release issued Friday.
Lawn watering places the biggest demand on the Village's water system, officials said. More than half of the water used for lawn irrigation is wasted through overwatering, evaporation, and runoff, officials said in a release.
In addition, the Village will not be accepting any new permit applications for lawn irrigation systems after July 20th until further notice.
While this week’s rainfall helped a bit, the village has been pumping 4.5 to 4.8 million gallons of water a day for more than eight weeks, Schwartz said. During the winter, the village pumps 1.5 gallons of water, he said.
Water conservation is especially important because the National Weather Service is predicting the doubt will continue until October, he said.
“We are just being prudent with our water system and put out to residents they need to start focusing on what’s going on,” Schwartz said, adding water use has not dropped. “It’s been really high.”
The village outlined a few things residents can do to reduce indoor water use:
- Keeping drinking water in the refrigerator instead of letting the faucet run until the water is cold.
- Taking shorter showers.
- Washing only full loads of dishes and clothes.
- Shutting off the faucet while brushing teeth.
- Repairing leaky toilets and faucets.
Outside measures include:
- Adjusting lawn sprinkler systems to limit watering to no more than twice a week.
- Limiting or eliminating outdoor water use on the weekends.
- Using a more efficient soaker hose for watering plants.
- Limiting hand car washes or using commercial washes that recycle water.
- Eliminating hosing down of sidewalks, patios, driveways, or other hard surfaces.
- Using a pool cover to reduce evaporation when the pool is not in use.