Citizens Water is asking customers to stop watering their lawns amid a hot, dry spell that's threatening the city's water supply.
The utility issued a voluntary ban on lawn watering Friday through July 13.
Officials said heavy usage has diminished the utility's water supply.
"The severe drought conditions and continued heavy water use are causing water levels to drop quickly at Morse, Geist and Eagle Creek reservoirs," said Lindsay Lindgren, vice president for water operations. "It is important that all customers stop lawn watering for at least the next week in order to stabilize water supplies and reduce stress on the distribution system."
Within the past week, thirsty customers and lawns have twice tied the all-time record of 231 million gallons. And they're consistently hitting 220 million.
Since 40 percent of water usage goes onto the grass, Citizens is hoping the watering ban makes a big difference.
"We are now asking that people stop watering their lawn altogether for the next week," said Sarah Holsapple with Citizens Water. "It's a voluntary restriction. And we're hoping that by not watering for one full week, we'll see a difference in our usage levels. And then hopefully we'll be able to see a difference in our reservoir levels as well."
Exceptions to the voluntary lawn watering ban include flowers, vegetable gardens, other sensitive plants and newly planted trees and lawns. But Citizens is asking people to use a bucket or handheld hose, instead of turning on a stream and leaving it.
If the supply continues to drop, the utility will consider a mandatory ban when it reevaluates next week.
In Westfield, residents who live at even-numbered addresses are asked to water only on Mondays and Wednesdays, while those who live at odd-numbered addresses are asked to irrigate only on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
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