St. Cloud Water Usage at Record Levels, Watering Ban Not Imminent
ST. CLOUD -- Our extended hot dry weather has St. Cloud pumping out a lot of water.
Lisa Vollbrecht is the city's Public Utilities Director. She says the city set a record with over 16 million gallons of water used on Tuesday of last week, breaking a record set the day before at over 15 million gallons. Vollbrecht says water usage has maintained between 14 million and 16 million gallons every day for about a week.
However, because we still have a long way to go before we reach the city's capacity, St. Cloud is not currently considering any type of watering ban.
Our main goal is to make sure that we have enough water in the towers that we are still meeting our water suppression needs and our drinking water needs. Of course, lawn irrigation and outdoor use are definitely up, that non-essential use. The nice thing for St. Cloud is that we have the capacity for 24 million gallons a day.
Vollbrecht says while water usage right now is way up compared to the five-year average, the numbers are actually pretty similar to early last summer which also started off very dry.
With the exception of June 1st, every day this month has been 85 degrees or warmer, with eight days in the 90s. The normal high for this time of the year in St. Cloud is about 77 degrees.
Meanwhile, the Mississippi River level - which is where the city's water comes from - is down about one-third from its normal flow. St. Cloud has only had about a quarter of an inch of rain so far in June, down nearly 1 1/2 inches so far.
The U.S. Drought Monitor lists eastern Stearns County, and Benton and Sherburne Counties as 'abnormally dry', while western and central Stearns county is listed as in a 'moderate drought'.