The hot, dry weather this summer has placed heavy demands on the water system in Steinbach. Mike Heppner, head of the Water Works department, says there were some days last month when water use hit the maximum that is processed each day by the water treatment plant.
"We had a couple of days in August where we were reaching the 1.6 million gallons a day. We're running at maximum design right now. We do have the ability, if required, to bump it up to a two million gallon capacity but we never actually reached that point. We were suspicious on a couple of days where we were reaching the 1.6-1.65 million mark, but never actually had to do it. The system was able to catch up overnight."
Heppner says, by comparison, water use in the winter months is often closer to the mark of one million gallons per day. He adds, judging by the colour of many lawns in the city, homeowners have been reasonable about the amount of watering they have done.
"That's been the interesting part for us. We would have expected to see some extremely high demands, reaching the point of two million gallons a day where we would have had to increase the production. But it seems like people have accepted the fact that it's been so dry that it's going to be pretty tough to keep the lawn, and so on, that lush green. So we haven't had to do that adjustment."
Heppner adds it's been so dry this year that the Parks and Recreation department has had to turn on the irrigation system for trees along Main Street to make sure they stay healthy.