Helena’s Water Usage ‘Concerningly’ High For June
The city of Helena says residents are consuming a concerning amount of water during an unseasonably hot June. Officials are asking residents to use water conservatively.
City officials worry that water supply won’t meet demand if this trend keeps up.
Ryan Leland, the city’s public works director, says he’s still trying to figure out the cause for the spike in usage.
“The only thing we can suspect right now is that it just is abnormally warm and dry. And we’re seeing a difference in how people irrigate their lawns, and [they’re] irrigating every day.”
The National Weather Service predicts that Helena will see more temperatures in the 90s next week.
According to the city, on peak days the Tenmile and Missouri River water treatment plants treated 60% more water than normal in June.
Households in Helena that use more than 6,000 gallons a month will see a 10% rate increase on their water bills. If demand continues to be abnormally high, residents will be required to limit their water use to preserve the city’s reservoirs.
“That is our fire protection. That’s the main reason we have the reservoirs — not only to level out the demand but also to provide fire protection,” Leland says.
The city is advocating water conservation practices like landscaping with native plant species, watering lawns early in the morning and allowing grass to grow enough to protect the soil.
More information can be found at helenamt.gov.
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