Two areas in Jefferson County asked to cut water usage

PORT TOWNSEND — Kala Point and Bywater Bay customers have been notified that demand has reached a critical level.

Unusually high temperatures during the past week has made two water systems operate at maximum capacity, according to the Jefferson County Public Utility District.

Customers are asked to reduce water usage.

General Manager Larry Dunbar said if customers are not able to reduce water consumption in both the Kala Point and Bywater Bay systems and temperatures continue to remain high, PUD staff might ask the district’s board of commissioners to institute mandatory water use restrictions.

“Our wells are pumping 24/7 to keep up, and the aquifers that feed these communities are beginning to draw down,” Dunbar said.

“We don’t need Kala Point or Bywater Bay customers to stop daily showering or let their lawns turn brown, but we do need them to reduce their water consumption ASAP in order to avoid having to institute the kinds of measures that occur in very severe water shortages.”

To conserve water, the PUD suggests that customers refrain from excessive lawn watering or sprinkling especially between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., as well from hosing down sidewalks, driveways and patios, and washing cars, boats and trailers at home.

If necessary, using a commercial wash facility is recommended.

PUD requests that customers water on alternate days.

Homes with addresses ending in an even numbers should water on Tuesdays, Thursday and Saturday.

Odd numbered addresses should water on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

PUD Resource Manager Bill Graham said that even though other PUD water systems are not in the same acute situation at the moment, he recommends all county residents be mindful of conserving water.

“Being smart about outdoor water consumption makes sense,” Graham said. “Over-watering is a problem everywhere, and aside from the unnecessary waste of resources, it leads to higher bills, which no one likes.

“It’s not hard to save water, people just have to learn a few simple tricks and be encouraged to do so.”

Graham said home lawn and garden watering accounts for the bulk of increased summer water usage. He said that lawns typically need an inch of water once per week, although homeowners often use much more.

The PUD is supplying free outdoor water saving kits at its 310 Four Corners Road customer service counter to customers. The kits include hose and spigot repair supplies to stop leaks and patch holes, an adjustable spray nozzle, and water gauges to monitor the amount of water applied.

For more information about saving water, visit www.jeffpud.org/conservation-tips.

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Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Jeannie McMacken can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at [email protected].

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