Utility companies around the Ozarks are asking customers to conserve water and energy usage due to the high temperatures this week.
Throughout much of the week, the National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning for cities in the Ozarks.
Nixa Utilities released a statement Thursday asking its customers to conserve water through Friday, July 22.
“Due to extremely hot weather and lack of recent rainfall, our customers have been using much higher than usual amounts of water, which is resulting in low water pressure in certain areas of town,” the statement reads.
According to Nixa Utilities and Public Works Director Doug Colvin, Nixa Utilities’ customers used an average of 3.8 million gallons of water per day in June. Typically, customers use an average of 2.5 million gallons of water per day during the month of June.
This high usage is impacting various areas in Nixa, but mostly the northern and north-eastern parts of the city, which are at a higher elevation.
Colvin said the majority of water used during the summer months is for lawn irrigation.
“We have a lot of new homes down here that have irrigation,” he said. “Of course people are trying to keep (their yards) alive, especially the brand news ones that are trying to get good roots established. At this time of year, it gets where — and we have grown so fast — that it’s hard for us to keep up, drilling enough wells and those types of things.”
Along with its statement, Nixa Utilities included a list of ways customers can reduce water usage:
- Minimize outdoor watering.
- Odd number addresses water lawns only on odd number calendar days.
- Even number addresses water lawns only on even number calendar days.
- Refrain from watering sidewalks, driveways and other exterior surfaces.
- Limit washing of vehicles, boats and other equipment.
- Limit filling or refilling of pools and hot tubs.
Nixa Utilities is re-evaluating the need for water conservation daily, Colvin said. The end date of Friday, July 22 may be pushed back or forward depending on updates.
City Utilities of Springfield
City Utilities of Springfield has not released a water/energy conservation request, as of Thursday.
“We are certainly monitoring the situation hour by hour and minute by minute,” City Utilities of Springfield Media and Energy Services Manager Joel Alexander said. “At this point, everything on our system is working fine. For City Utilities and the customers of City Utilities, everything is in good shape at this point.”
At around 5 pm on Wednesday, the utility company reached the peak electricity demand for the year at 733 megawatts per hour. Alexander said the most power is typically used on Wednesday nights, primarily from churches being in session.
The historical peak was 802 megawatts per hour in August 2011. But city utilities can provide up to 865 megawatts of energy per hour, Alexander explained.
As for water, Alexander said City Utilities of Springfield customers should always consider how they can fit water-saving techniques into their daily lives. But he is not worried about water usage.
City utilities was at about 95% of total storage for lakes, which includes McDaniel Lake and Fellows Lake, Alexander said Thursday. These lakes are where City Utilities pulls water.
Customers can learn about ways to save energy and water on the City Utilities of Springfield website at cityutilities.net/save/.
Greta Cross is the trending topics reporter for the Springfield News-Leader. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @gretacrossphoto. Story idea? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org