Dickinson water use prompts ban
DICKINSON, N.D. — Dickinson officials have issued a mandatory ban on all outdoor water over the weekend after a record-setting day for water usage left the city's systems strained.
City Administrator Shawn Kessel said Dickinson used 5.7 million gallons of water Thursday, the most in its history.
"Our water distribution network is not able to keep up with the record-setting demand that we are having," Kessel said.
Kessel said the city will reassess the situation Monday. Until then, residents are asked to stop watering their lawns and gardens, washing cars, and using water for any other unnecessary purposes. The bulk sale of potable water has also been halted, Kessel said.
Production is not the problem, he said, as the Southwest Water Authority produces 9 million gallons of water per day and is capable of producing 12 million gallons.
"We can't get that water out through those pipes fast enough," he said.
Temperatures are forecast to be in the high 80s and low 90s over the weekend and into next week, which Kessel said played a role in the decision.
However, he said help is on the way.
A water tower with a million-gallon tank is under construction on the northwest side of town and should be completed in October. A new pump station is set to begin operating and two 24-inch water lines are being laid to serve the east and west sides of town, respectively. On Monday, the City Commission will decide whether or not to build a 500,000-gallon water tank on the east side of Dickinson.
"The pace of growth has simply surpassed our ability to construct," Kessel said.
Raw water will still be available for bulk users at the Southwest Water vendor on the east side of Dickinson.
It's not the first time Dickinson officials have called for short-term water restrictions since the city's population began increasing along with oil development a few years ago.
"We're hoping this is a real short-term thing," Kessel said.