The city of Le Mars is asking residents to voluntarily conserve water use.
Hot, dry weather and problems in the city's north well field are prompting the request for water conservation, especially during daytime hours.
Recent water use within city limits was measured at 4.2 million gallons per day. Peak use of 4.5 million gallons per day was reached in 2000.
Jim Conley, water department superintendent, provided a list of practices for Stage 1 of three stages for the water conservation plan. He estimated that voluntary residential conservation efforts can produce water savings of up to 10 percent. (See separate story.)
Conley also included steps in the plan for city departments to follow.
Water Conservation Plan's tips for consumers
According to the Le Mars Water Department, conscientious use of water will be encouraged by these practices:
a) Water lawns early in the morning, prior to 6 a.m., to take advantage of the coolest times when the evaporation rate is less. Irrigating in the evening may result in potential fungus development on the lawn. Le Mars consumers are asked to curtail lawn irrigation between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.
b) Check the interior plumbing for faucet or toilet leaks. Make the necessary repairs. To detect potential leaks, listen for trickles of water or frequent water valve operations.
c) Clean outside surfaces such as patios, driveways and sidewalks using a broom, rather than a hose.
d) Wash vehicles with a bucket and hose that has a shut-off nozzle, rather than continuously running a hose.
e) Fill sinks with water for tasks such as washing dishes, preparing food, brushing teeth, and shaving rather than leaving water running.
f) Suggest installing water-saving devices in showers.
g) Use automatic dishwashers and washing machines with only full loads whenever possible.
h) Store a container of drinking water in the refrigerator rather than running water from the faucet to cool it.
i) Encourage wise use of water during outdoor play, such as playing in the sprinkler, water toys, and swimming pools.
j) Encourage shorter shower times, or bathe in partially full bathtubs.
k) Refrain from using the toilet as a wastebasket or ashtray.