High Water Usage Continues; Numerous Main Breaks Due to System Stress; Results in Low Pressure and Could Affect Firefighting
INDIANAPOLIS – The Indianapolis Department of Waterworks (DOW) is extending its voluntary request for both residential and non-residential customers to stop watering lawns through Friday, July 29 in the wake of continued lack of rain, high heat, and high water consumption.
The utility issued its initial voluntary request on Wednesday; water consumption, mostly for lawn irrigation, has remained high and is stressing the underground infrastructure. Water main breaks have been steadily increasing in both number and severity since late last week.
“The system is definitely feeling the stress of these past two weeks,” said Matthew Klein, executive director of the Indianapolis Department of Waterworks, owner of Indianapolis Water. “We are seeing more significant water main breaks, periods of low water pressure, and a definite impact on the ability to assist in the event of a major fire.”
The request to voluntarily refrain from lawn watering is for all customers, including individual residential customers, apartment complexes, commercial parks, and industrial facilities.
Indianapolis Water will reevaluate the voluntary request on Friday and make a determination about whether to extend or relax the request at that time.
On an average day, Indianapolis Water pumps 140 million gallons of clean, fresh drinking water. Consumption in the IW service territory has been at or above 200 million gallons per day since July 11, and the utility is struggling to refill storage tanks after peak hour demands.
The Department of Waterworks owns and manages Indianapolis Water, which serves nearly one million people in central Indiana, and contracts the system’s operation to Veolia Water Indianapolis.