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Posted on: June 16, 2022

Spearfish encourages citizens to practice water conservation during well repair, summer heat

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SPEARFISH, SD – Due to a well currently awaiting repair and not pumping, the City of Spearfish reminds citizens of the Code Blue voluntary water conservation status, which encourages customers to practice water conservation, including irrigating lawns on an every other day schedule.

“While we have recently received much-needed rain, we ask everyone to follow best practices to ensure the water system continues to operate normally,” Public Works Director Kyle Hinton said, adding that this is especially important because of the impact the inoperable well has on the water system’s overall capacity.

The City has a Water Conservation Program, as well as alerts related to water usage should conditions merit mandatory water conservation, and the City desires to advise its customers of the importance of water conservation by being good stewards of the resource and how it can directly save them money on their utility bill. 

To reduce the need for watering their lawn, people should consider raising the cutting height of their lawn mower, as many people cut their grass far shorter than is recommended. Longer grass blades help shade each other, cut down on evaporation, and inhibit weed growth, according to the South Dakota Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources. It is recommended to cut no more than one-third of the height of the grass at any one time and to mow only when needed, to keep the grass even, as the stress of mowing causes grass to use more water. 

“Remember to please not blow grass clippings into the street, as this may clog storm sewers,” Public Works Director Hinton added.

When watering a garden or lawn, do so during the coolest part of the day (early in the morning or later in the evening), not during the mid-day hours. Spearfish City Ordinance prohibits residential or business lawn watering between the hours of 11:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Avoid watering during windy conditions. Set sprinklers so they water only the garden or lawn, not the street/sidewalk, and only water when needed. 

Using native plants, which require less water than ornamental varieties, and mulching shrubs and garden plants to reduce evaporation from the soil surface and decrease weed growth, are also encouraged.

“We thank everyone for their help during this time,” Miles Burtzlaff, water/wastewater utility superintendent, said. “It is all of our responsibility to protect and preserve our water supply through conservation efforts.”

Any changes to the water conservation alert status will be posted in City buildings and on the City website, cityofspearfish.com. Information may also be distributed through users’ utility bills, local media, door hangers, etc. For more information about the City’s water conservation program, status indicators, and tips to increase water conservation around your home, visit cityofspearfish.com/423/Water.

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