Bailey: Watering ban is approaching an end, but your help is still needed
Myron Bailey is the mayor of Cottage Grove.
As we approach the end of July, I'm hopeful that we will soon be able to announce the end of the complete watering ban. Less than two months since the current watering ban was imposed, the construction, installation and commissioning of temporary water treatment facilities at Well 10 and Well 3 is on track for completion. At Well 10, tanks have been delivered and put in place. Since then, the contractor has been working extended hours to make the treatment system there fully operational as soon as possible. Under normal circumstances, getting a system like this installed would take more than six months. City staff have done a great job expediting and overseeing this process.
At Well 3, a temporary water treatment facility less than half the size of that at Well 10 is also being installed. The city expects footings and concrete work to be complete by the end of July. Filtration tanks are expected to be delivered in early August, and we hope to have this well also back online by the middle of August.
When work on Well 10 is complete, and has passed Minnesota Department of Health testing, we will lift the current watering ban and return to our odd/even schedule and time of day watering restrictions, which has been in place since 1980. Properties that end in an even house number can water on even-numbered days, and likewise for odd-numbered properties. Watering must also be done before noon or after 4 p.m., since watering during the heat of the day wastes water due to evaporation.
Violating the odd/even and time of day watering ban ordinance is a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine or imprisonment or both. Each day and time a violation occurs or continues to occur counts as a separate offense.
Even after we bring these two wells back into our system, and with these restrictions in place, Cottage Grove's water supply will still be limited. Your help in continuing to conserve water will still be important to ensure that our community has access to the water it needs. I encourage you to limit your outdoor water use to no more than two times a week.
In the meantime, please continue to follow the watering ban. The city has had to send community services officers to investigate reports of people watering at night. We've issued nearly 20 warnings already. Violating the watering ban could result in a citation, which is a misdemeanor offense, with a mandatory court appearance and a penalty of up to $1,000 and 90 days in jail. I don't want to see this happen to anyone in our community, but we have to enforce the watering ban to ensure there is enough water for everyone. If you wish to report a violation of the watering ban please call the police non-emergency number — 651-439-9381 — so that immediate action can be taken.
Remember to visit the city's website, www.cottage-grove/water-ban, for the most up-to-date information on the watering ban, including when a date has been decided for lifting the ban.
Thank you again for your continued patience and support; we've almost made it.