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City of Billings places mandatory stage one water restrictions

Posted at 5:25 PM, Jul 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-27 12:13:18-04

BILLINGS- — On August 2, a water restriction will go into place that prohibits Billings residents from watering their lawns on Mondays.

The restriction will stay in place until September 16 and applies to all businesses, residents, and anyone else who uses the city’s water supply to water their lawn.

“It comes as no surprise that people want to make their lawns green, their landscapes green during this hot summer, we completely understand that, but it’s putting a lot of stress on our system. We’re pushing it to 90-95% capacity and we’re doing that day in and day out,” says the City of Billings water quality superintendent, Louis Engels.

The city is currently going through about 50 million gallons of water per day, and Engels says the electrical and mechanical systems simply can not keep up.

“As you go throughout the week, those reservoir levels will drop. Basically, we can get a fill in those reservoirs whenever there's not irrigation and sprinkling going on but then when there is, they’re dropping and we’re not catching up,” says Engels.

The restrictions will give the reservoirs time to refill, and give the city's water system a break as they prepare for the rest of the week.

Jacob Troyer, a Billings resident, has already stopped watering his lawn on Monday’s and Tuesday’s. Troyer waters his lawn only three times a week and believes that it shouldn’t be hard for the whole city to stop for one day a week.

“Well, I don’t think that it needs to impact us all that much if we all just do our part. I think it’s somewhat inconvenient that we have to adjust our sprinkler schedules to help Billings keep the water flowing,” says Troyer.

The city will be monitoring peoples water usage to make sure they are complying.

Those who use well water, or an irrigation ditch to water their lawns are exempt to the restriction.