Archive for Wednesday, June 9, 2004

Water levels remain high

Springtime rains help fill Tonganoxie’s wells

June 9, 2004

Tonganoxie is two years removed from a water shortage that forced city officials to issue an outdoor watering ban.

After a wet spring this year, however, the city's wells are thriving.

"We really haven't been having much of a problem," said City Administrator Shane Krull.

May water levels averaged 18 feet, the same level as both January and February. March was at 17 feet, Krull said.

In July 2002, in the midst of a sweltering dry spell, levels dropped to between 9 feet and 11 feet. At that time, Krull monitored water levels daily. In the fall, winter and spring months, water usage is down. And the rains this spring have been beneficial to the city's water supply.

Tonganoxie still has a voluntary even-odd watering system in place, a concept that was used before the water crisis and now after. Residents with even-numbered residences and businesses water on even-numbered days and those with odd-numbered water on even-numbered days.

Continued rainfall obviously will help keep the watering plan voluntary.

"During the periods of heightened demand in summer months, when we have adequate rainfall and lack of prolonged dry weather, it's been helpful in reducing the outside factor," Krull said.

Tonganoxie also is taking steps to prevent future water shortages.

The city is considering a contract with the Kansas City, Kan., Board of Public Utilities to provide water to Tonganoxie, which would require installation of 10 miles of 12-inch water lines between the intersection of 142nd Street and State Avenue and Tonganoxie, at a cost of $2.6 million.

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