Drought prompts city leaders to request water conservation

News

DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA) — Drought conditions in the Lake Decatur watershed have prompted city officials to request residents “voluntarily reduce the amount of potable water they use until further notice.”

Below-average rainfall totals since mid-August have plagued much of Central Illinois; at Lake Decatur, this means that the primary source of water for the city and the Village of Mt. Zion is 1.3 feet below the normal winter level. The water source is also “slowly declining at a rate of .29 inches per day,” according to a city news release.

The lake is still 69% full due to its increased depth from the recently completed dredging project, so the measure is a precautionary one in case the drought continues for an extended period of time. 

Water levels will continue to decline until “significant precipitation occurs”; the National Weather Service is currently predicting below-average precipitation for the Central Illinois area through Christmas Day.

Water levels will continue to decline until “significant precipitation occurs”; the National Weather Service is currently predicting below-average precipitation for the Central Illinois area through Christmas Day.

This request applies to all Decatur water customers including the Village of Mt Zion.  The City’s 24 largest customers will also be directly contacted for their assistance.  Residential customers may be able to take advantage of these conservation tips:

  •  Repair leaking faucets, toilets and water pipes.
  •  Install water efficient toilets and shower heads.
  • Operate washing machines and dishwashers only when full.
  • Take short showers instead of baths.
  • Don’t let water continue to run while washing hands, shaving or brushing teeth.

Property owners adjacent to the lake are encouraged to take advantage of the low water level to remove debris from their shoreline area if it is safe to do so.

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