Water Restrictions Aren’t Working In Brandon

The city is forced to open third water well

BRANDON, S.D. – For the past month and a half the City of Brandon has had water restrictions in place during dry conditions, but the city administrator says that’s not enough to solve the problem. Now, the city has to tap into one of its old wells to increase water supply. But that comes with a noticeable change.

The color of the grass gives it away. With a lot of brown blades mixed in with a few green ones, it’s easy to see there has been a lack of rain in Brandon, and it’s causing some problems.

“As the lack of rain continues, our well production is creeping back up,” says City Administrator Bryan Read.

Read says right now two million gallons of water are being used every day, “which is too much for us to produce on a consistent basis.”

In winter, the city only uses 650,000 gallons of water a day. To reduce water usage the city is asking residents to avoid watering their lawn from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. As well as stick to an odd, even schedule, meaning those who live on even streets water on even numbered days, and vice versa.

“Evens is tomorrow and I don’t think I’m even going to water then because of the restrictions,” says longtime Brandon resident Dick Pickering. “I believe it’s necessary to listen.”

While many residents like Pickering are following the rules, the city administrator can’t say that about everyone.

“Driving around town this morning, I picked up about a dozen people who were watering not on their day,” says Read.

Due of this, he says the city has had to open up another well, one that is older than the city’s two others.

“It has high iron and manganese in the water,” says Read. “It does not go through our water filtration plant so it does cause some water color discoloration in our system.”

Read admits the water is a bit of an eye opener, but he says it’s safe to drink and better than their next option.

“If we don’t see a reduction in water consumption we will have a mandatory water ban on watering grass and gardens,” explains Read.

Read says the water is chlorinated and passes all bacteria tests. However, the city does want to warn that when washing with the water, it can die white clothes an orange-ish color.

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