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Fairhope warns residents to conserve water or face mandatory restrictions

Published: Jun. 20, 2022 at 6:49 PM CDT
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FAIRHOPE, Ala. (WALA) - Heavy water usage has caused the city of Fairhope to ask its residents to conserve water. That appeal went out Friday, June 17, 2022 but usage only increases over the weekend, bringing the city vey near its daily capacity of just more 9-million gallons.

The splash pad at Fairhope Community Park only ran for a half day Monday, June 20, 2022. Those who made it there before noon were able to get some relief from the heat. It uses an average of 100,000 gallons of water per day, so temporarily closing it is one measure the city’s taking to conserve water. It’s also resetting timers to water flowers and grass overnight. The city voted in measures in 2020 to allow for mandatory restrictions if voluntary actions don’t work.

“People are creatures of habit,” pointed out Fairhope mayor, Sherry Sullivan. “They’re used to using water when they want to and watering their grass when they want to or their flowers or taking showers or washing clothes, you know, those kind of things but we are asking them to be conscious of that and do the things that we are asking them to do so that this voluntary conservation does not become mandatory.”

That could happen as soon as Monday, June 27. For now, the city is asking residents to not pressure wash, scale back on watering and when they do water, do it overnight between midnight and 4 a.m. That’s the time of least usage and will allow the city’s tanks to refill.

Fairhope asks residents to cut back on water use or mandatory restrictions may come
Fairhope asks residents to cut back on water use or mandatory restrictions may come(Hal Scheurich)

City officials said growth, excessive heat and lack of rain are all contributing factors and hope residents will cooperate. As the city reaches its capacity for water delivery, residents may notice some affects at the faucet.

“We’re seeing some low pressure. We’re seeing some brown water because as you pull down on those tanks and they get to the bottom of the tanks, you’re going to seeing some discoloration of the water,” Sullivan explained. “The water’s not harmful but we do tell you to be careful if you’re washing clothes.”

As dry and hot as it’s been, some residents aren’t surprised by the city’s request to cut back and said they’ll do their part.

“No, not at all. Not with this heat wave. No, none whatsoever, plus the growth of the area,” said Fairhope resident, Evan Higgins. You know, less watering of the grass. Less washing the cars. Simple things like that.”

Fairhope has two water towers which store water and multiple wells. It’s in the process of bringing another well online and testing a second which will help raise the daily capacity.

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