-- — The Batesville Utility Service Board has declared a watering reduction for all lawn sprinkling in the Batesville water service area. These restrictions are being implemented beginning Friday, July 27, and apply to all Batesville, Oldenburg and Morris residents using water from the city of Batesville and also includes residents on or near Bischoff Reservoir who use water from the city’s reservoir. The Batesville Water and Gas Utility is asking all of its customers to abide by the mandatory water use reduction and conserve water whenever possible.
Mandatory lawn watering reductions are now necessary to maintain adequate water supplies through this extended drought. Drought conditions and high water usage are causing reservoir levels to fall quickly and are putting stress on the distribution system leading to costly main breaks. Batesville Water and Gas Utility officials realize water use reductions may create concern among some customers, but these water use reductions are absolutely necessary to maintain adequate supply in the near future. “We must manage our reservoirs and other water resources with the assumption that the current drought conditions could last all summer,” said board President Sue Siefert.
• Lawn sprinkling of residential property is limited to once per week and commercial property to twice per week. It is recommended that sprinkling be done between the hours of 6 p.m. and 8 a.m. to reduce the amount of water lost to evaporation.
If pumping, as measured at the water utility plant, is not reduced by 20-25 percent through voluntary efforts of residential and commercial users, the board will be forced to ban all residential sprinkling and reduce commercial sprinkling to once per week.
• Vegetable gardens and flowers may be watered by container or hand-held hose equipped with a shut-off nozzle. It is also permissible to water trees and shrubs.
• Utility board members have met with Hillcrest Country Club board members to ensure water conservation methods are being implemented throughout the club’s golf course, and have approved limited watering to ensure the course remains viable for the tournaments scheduled for the golf season’s remainder. The water utility staff will continue to work with the club’s staff to secure additional water conservation measures, and re-evaluate its water reduction decision as needed by changing drought conditions.
• Each customer shall be responsible for compliance with the ban, and the customer with service at a certain address shall be liable for violations that occur on such premises.
• Sprinkling meter use will be monitored by the utility’s staff. Penalties for failure to comply with the lawn watering reduction include a verbal warning followed by an automatic shut-off of water to the residence or business.
• The mandatory water usage reductions will remain in effect until further notice. When sufficient rainfall has been received, cancellation of the reduction will be communicated via the local media and Nixle alert system.
“Thank you for your cooperation with this community safety concern,” Siefert said.