City Water Users Urged To Reduce Usage

Brian Coddington, Communications Director, 509.625.6740

Thursday, June 24, 2021 at 11:30 a.m.

City water users are urged to follow summer conservation guidance outlined last month as hot temperatures and the impacts of a nationwide chlorine shortage will put a strain on the system.

Damage to two major facilities that supply chlorine used in large water systems around the country has caused a nationwide shortage and the supply chain requires time to catch back up. Locally, forecasted highs for the next several days that are above historical normal temperatures will put an additional strain on the system. Water used for drinking, household uses, and irrigation comes from the same source.

“We need the community’s help with extending our supply of chlorine to give the supply chain time to catch up,” Mayor Nadine Woodward said. “At this time, the City has an adequate short-term supply, but any further delay and overwatering could impact our system. Adopting the every other day watering schedule can make a significant difference.”

Closely following summer conservation practices will help ease the stress on the system. City water users are urged to:

  • Adopt an every-other-day, “odd/even” watering schedule to help protect water resources.
  • Water your landscaping between 6 p.m. and 10 a.m. Some experts estimate that 50 percent of the water evaporates when sprinkling in the heat of the day. Morning watering is considered best as the water doesn’t sit on the roots overnight, which can cause problems with root rot or fungal disease. And, limit the amount time you spend watering each section of landscaping to no more than 15 minutes or two hours for your total area.
  • Don’t let your hose run.  Avoid washing off your driveway or other hard surfaces and limit washing your car. Running a 5/8-inch hose for 30 minutes wastes up to 150 gallons of water.
  • Don’t water on windy days, and turn your sprinklers off when it rains. 

The City’s Parks Department has volunteered to serve as an example this summer of how an odd/even watering schedule can be accomplished, while still creating beautiful spaces.

Making choices that reduce water use will help Spokane residents with their monthly bills. Last fall, the City approved changes to the rates it charges for water use, rewarding customers for lower water use and encouraging customers to limit their use to about 18,700 gallons a month.

The City created a new water calculator to let customers know how the changes would impact them. Each customer can enter their City utility account number and address. The calculator will provide a look at each customer’s own historical use and calculate the difference the customer would pay under the new rates. Customers can keep their bills more affordable by reducing their water usage.