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Stage 1 water restrictions to start in Billings

California Drought
Posted at 1:25 PM, Jul 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-23 19:49:15-04

BILLINGS - The City of Billings announced Friday that Stage 1 water restrictions will begin on Aug. 2.

The restriction includes mandatory lawn watering restrictions for properties that use the city's treated water. The restriction prohibits lawn watering on Mondays for all residential, business and government properties, including parks, whether they are served by the city or the Heights Water District, a press release states.

Properties and parks served by a well or irrigation ditch for lawn watering are not subject to the Monday restriction.

"While area drought conditions are of concern, the primary reasons for the Stage 1 restrictions are to address equipment capacity, overheating issues, and to allow water tanks to fully fill," the press release states. "The demand for water has been extremely high since the beginning of June necessitating the use of all treatment processes and equipment. Generally, this level of demand is only seen for a couple of weeks in August. This sustained operation at these demands and high ambient temperatures puts equipment at risk of failure. Additionally, low river conditions increase moss and debris scour which can clog treatment processes. To avoid equipment failure, demands need to be reduced to allow for maintenance. Also, with the sustained high demand, the reservoirs cannot be filled each day which results in lowered water pressure and less water available for fire protection."

The restriction is in effect until Sept. 15, but the city is monitoring water use and restrictions could change.

"Please do not over-water on Tuesdays to make up for the Monday restriction. Should Stage 1 measures be effective, further restrictions in Stage 2 or Stage 3 can be averted. These restrictions could include alternate day lawn watering, time of day prohibitions of lawn watering, or ban on lawn watering," the press release states. "We understand the inconvenience for residents. Please recognize the necessity of these restrictions to ensure that we can deliver water throughout this long, dry summer. Residents can contact the Public Works Department at (406) 657-8230 with questions or concerns."