County urges some residents to take it easy with using water : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Tuesday July 17 07:29 AM EDT County urges some residents to take it easy with using water By Dave Orrick Daily Herald Staff Writer In what could be a sign of things to come if the summer stays dry, Lake County's first water restriction advisory was issued Monday to roughly 1,500 residents of Warren Township.

Citing rain forecasts for Monday night and later this week, water officials watered down any call for drastic measures and emphasized that no major water sources - from municipal wells to Lake Michigan - are at risk of running dry.

But the virtually rainless July and drier-than-average summer has led water use to gush to high levels in many areas of the county as homeowners and businesses try to keep their parched lawns green, officials said.

On Monday, the Lake County public works department issued a "request" to residents of Grandwood Park, Brookside, Bridlewood, Mill Creek and Deerpath subdivisions in Warren Township to restrict any water usage between noon and 6 p.m. Or, if that is not possible, odd-numbered homes should use water on odd-numbered dates, and vice versa for even-numbered homes.

"What we're really talking about is an extended dry spell, and it's those peak times that can cause problems," said Robert Brummond, operations manager for the public works department, which oversees water service to most unincorporated areas. "We've got a number of wells up there and although we do have enough water we are having to work our pumps hard with the demand."

It's not an issue of water shortage, but one of keeping up with demand, he said. Rain is needed not so much to replenish underground aquifers or Lake Michigan, but rather water lawns so homeowners won't have to.

Although taxed water pumps is a potential problem for other communities, many are well within their physical and legal limits.

In the past few weeks, the Joint Action Water Agency, which doles out Lake Michigan water to much of Lake County - including Mundelein, Grayslake, Gurnee and the Round Lake Area - has seen water consumption increase in those communities.

But Assistant Executive Director Melanie VanHeirseele said the agency's distribution network is holding its own and no communities appear on track to use up their state-regulated limit on Lake Michigan water.

"There's going to be days in the upcoming week when we're really pushing the system, but during the night we'll catch up," she said.

Lake Zurich reached a high earlier this month of nearly double its normal consumption but still remains well below its capacity, according to a village report released Monday.

The county's advisory Monday was not strong enough to warrant stiff fines or police enforcement.

-- Tess (, July 18, 2001

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