CARLSBORG — The Clallam County Public Utility District has called for voluntary water conservation by customers in the Gales Addition, Monroe and Mount Angeles water districts.
The PUD issued a Stage 2 alert Thursday in response to Port Angeles declaring a Stage 2 alert on Tuesday.
The three water districts rely on purchased water supplied from Port Angeles. Because the PUD shares the city’s water source, the Elwha River, it is coordinating its response.
Mike Howe, PUD spokesman, said the PUD will likely ask its customers to reduce water consumption until the city ends its Stage 2 alert.
“We follow the city’s lead on that,” he said.
There are 1,299 water customers in Gales Addition, 171 in Mount Angeles and 85 in Monroe.
City officials cited low flows on the Elwha River for the Stage 2 alert, adding that the weather forecast calls for no significant rain in the near future.
The river’s flow, which should be at a median of 516 cubic feet per second (cfs) this time of year, was at 363 cfs Thursday, according to stream flow data from the U.S. Geological Survey.
Normally, autumn rains being the first week in October.
While the city and PUD have both called for conservation, Howe said he is thankful the shortage happened much later in the season this year, after the statewide drought in 2015.
“It’s much better than it was last year,” he said, adding he hopes a large snowpack will build in the Olympics this winter.
The city is urging residents to reduce lawn watering to early morning or evening hours, to not wash their vehicles frequently and to take shorter showers. The city is also encouraging residents to repair dripping faucets and to use automatic dishwashers and clothes washers only if they are full.
The PUD issued a Stage 2 alert for its Upper Fairview customers Aug. 31. The PUD’s goal for its Upper Fairview customers is to reduce consumption by 5 percent.
The alert will continue until Morse Creek’s stream flow is consistently above 25 cfs, Howe said.
According to the state Department of Ecology, water in Morse Creek was flowing at 19.1 cfs on Tuesday, part of a declining trend that started early this month.
Water restrictions also are in effect in Forks.
The city of Forks enacted the emergency restrictions Sept. 1.
The emergency restrictions prohibit commercial and residential lawn watering, filling of swimming pools and hot tubs, and washing pavement and structure exteriors by pressure washer or hose.
The emergency restrictions were put into effect because of low levels in Forks’ five city wells.
To find tips on ways to conserve water, see www.clallampud.net/water-saving-tips.
For more information on the PUD, visit www.clallampud.net.
Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.