An emergency order was adopted by the Saint Paul City Council on August 11 that would institute watering restrictions and penalties if the ongoing drought becomes more severe. Those restrictions went into effect on August 17 and will begin being enforced on August 20.
After asking customers last month to voluntarily comply with restrictions, the Saint Paul Regional Water Services now has made them mandatory. Customers with odd-numbered addresses may only water on odd days of the month and even-numbered addresses on even days. No watering is allowed between noon-6 p.m.
Violators will be first given a notice and then a written warning. Penalties would be $50 for a third violation, $100 for a fourth, and $150 plus temporarily water shutoff after a fifth and subsequent violations.
Utility leadership were closely monitoring Mississippi River water levels because that is where the city draws much of its water. The city uses a state matrix to determine stages of drought and when watering restrictions must be imposed.
Saint Paul has been under a drought warning since July 20, as have other cities. As of August 10, 78 percent of Minnesota was now experiencing severe drought, 42 percent extreme drought and 7 percent exceptional drought.
The restrictions apply to all SPRWS customers in Saint Paul, Arden Hills, Falcon Heights, Lauderdale, Lilydale, Little Canada, Maplewood, Mendota, Mendota Heights, Roseville, and West Saint Paul.
Exemptions include the watering of vegetable gardens, nurseries, community gardens, and new trees, plants and sod.
For water conservation tips, visit stpaul.gov/departments/saint-paul-regional-water-services/customer-resources/water-conservation.
— Jane McClure
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