Forks enacts emergency water restrictions

Low levels are present in the city’s five wells.

FORKS — Those living in and around Forks can’t water their lawns until further notice.

The emergency water restriction on the use of city water was put into place Thursday.

“Today, it won’t make a difference because it’s raining,” said Rod Fleck, city attorney and planner.

“From the moment I posted the notices, it’s been pouring ever since.”

The emergency restrictions were put into effect because of low levels in the city’s five wells.

In one well, the level is so low that the pump is sucking in air, Fleck said. Others are at the caution level.

Only essential water uses are allowed, which include commercial horticultural operations and home gardens, according to the city’s announcement.

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.

Residents can wash vehicles only once a week and only at a water-controlled car washing facility. No more than twice-weekly washing is permitted for commercial log trucks, logging equipment and road maintenance equipment as part of regulatory dust abatement.

Dust abatement associated with construction projects as part of a building permit is allowed.

Forks enacted emergency restrictions in September 2015 after one of the wells began drawing air on Sept. 8.

“September is historically a drier month” in Forks, Fleck said.

A wet July “appears to have helped keep plants green, but it wasn’t recharging the aquifer,” he said.

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Executive Editor Leah Leach can be reached at 360-417-3530 or at lleach@peninsuladailynews.com.

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