Cole County Residents Asked to Conserve Water

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COLE COUNTY - Residents in parts of the county continued to conserve water Tuesday after officials warned water levels for fire protection are too low. The Cole County Public Water Supply authority said District 1 and District 2 water levels are the lowest they've been in five years because of extreme heat, dry conditions, and an increase in fires.

Districts 1 and 2 cover the areas west and southwest of Jefferson City.  Water manager for District 2, Randy Kay, told KOMU 8 News water capacity in these districts for fire protection and firefighting has fallen below 50 percent.

The district said residents in these districts should only use water for "normal" activities.  This means residents can continue to use water for cooking, drinking, showering, and doing laundry.  However, residents should not wash cars or water lawns every day.   

Kay said right now, residents can use water for lawns and car washing from midnight to 5 a.m. on an alternate day schedule based on house addresses. If a house address ends in an even number (2, 4, 6, 8, 0), residents may water during the allowed time on even numbered days of the month. If a house address ends in an odd number (1, 3, 5, 7, 9), residents may water during the allowed time on odd numbered days of the month.

The water districts said the restrictions will be lifted when the extreme drought and heat have drastically improved.  But Kay said if there is no improvement by the end of the week, the situation could get worse.

"If the weather continues to stay hot, there is a possibility for us to implement a full-time ban to keep the water available for the most necessary reasons.  We won't know if this will happen for a few days, though," Kay said. 

Michelle Kirchhoff, a district 2 customer, said officials told her this past weekend to stop using her sprinkler.  She said she understand the conservation is needed, but is worried it will hurt the appearance of her lawn.

"This [my] yard has been here for 20 years, and we're noticing it's becoming really bare, and part of me wonders if its not due to the hot summers," she said.

Kirchoff said she plans to water her lawn in the mornings on her assigned day, but is hopeful the restrictions will soon be lifted.

Concerned residents are urged to call the districts:

  • District 1: 573-893-2848
  • District 2: 573-635-7011