Decatur Water Limits Remain Despite Rainfall
By Sean Powers
The holiday weekend rainfall wasn’t enough for the city of Decatur to lift its restrictions on water use.
Director of Water Management Keith Alexander says the level of Lake Decatur went up just over three inches, going from 55-percent to 58-percent full. But he says it needs to be closer to 75-percent.
Since August 9th, the city has banned everything from watering lawns to washing cars, even at commercial car washes, which have resorted to bringing in water from outside the system. Alexander says about 25 residents have violated the ban and had to appear in court, but compliance has been good overall.
“The word is getting out," he said. "People are certainly taking notice and doing what they can to not only voluntarily conserve water, but to conserve it on a mandatory basis. Because until the lake receives sustained a water flow from the Sangamon River, we are not able to lift the restrictions.”
Alexander says soil in the area is about 15 to 25 inches behind in terms of rainfall, making it hard to predict exactly how much rain it will take for things to return to normal. And he says current weather patterns don’t show the necessary rainfall needed.
Anyone who violates restrictions can face a fine of up to $250 plus court costs.