The city has no plans to go off heightened water restrictions anytime soon, although one councilman wondered why that was the case.
City Councilman Morris Madrid said residents have asked him why the city is still on stiffer rules after robust rainfall and reservoirs nearly full.
“Is there any relief for us in the near future?” he asked at last week’s council meeting.
George DuFour, the city’s utilities director, confirmed that the city’s reservoirs were at 97 percent capacity. But he said that unlike previous years, the city isn’t taking any water from its well at Taylor Wells southwest of town because that aquifer isn’t in good condition.
DuFour said pumping during 2006 and 2007 left a void in the aquifer. Residents in that area, which is outside of city limits, have long contended that the increased pumping has adversely affected their water levels.
Earlier this summer, the city pumped at Taylor Wells for five days and found that the level had dropped 14 feet, DuFour said.
“We stopped all pumping until we could find out what was going on,” he said.
Even after all the rain, the aquifer is recharging much more slowly than it has in other times, DuFour said.
“I know people are complaining. I have to look at the betterment of the community,” he said.
Madrid said that when he goes to the city’s web site, it blares the fact on the home page that the city is on heightened water restrictions.
“That’s not good for economic development,” he said.
Madrid said that if the city went to its normal rules, it wouldn’t have much of an effect on consumption. That’s because few people would water their lawns, thanks to all the rain, he said.
Councilman Andrew Feldman said the city utilities advisory committee would take up the issue at its meeting this Thursday.