Columbus not asking water customers to cut back as Delaware County restricts usage
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Columbus not asking water customers to cut back as Delaware County restricts usage

Mar 29, 2023

Columbus is not asking customers to cut back on water usage as Delaware County asks residents to conserve water until Tuesday and the city of Delaware bans outdoor water usage until Wednesday evening.

Columbus Division of Water assistant administrator Matt Steele says it takes a lot for the public utility to go into panic mode and ask residents to cut back on water usage. He says it's been well over 15 years since Columbus last issued a mandatory request like Del-Co is doing and between 10 to 15 years since it last asked residents to cut back voluntarily.

"It's early in the season still, and all of our reservoirs are full or near full. Even reservoirs are down about a foot and a half from normal pool, which is typical for this time of year," Steele said.

The city of Delaware issued a temporary outdoor water usage ban Monday, because more dry weather is in the immediate forecast and demand is exceeding the water pumping capacity. Residents must suspend all outdoor watering through Wednesday night and starting Thursday, outdoor watering is restricted to every other day.

"If this trend continues, the system will lose pressure and service," a press release said.

The ban followed Del-Co Water requesting customers not use water outdoors Monday and start watering every other day starting Tuesday, according to a house's address.

Del-Co services parts of eight counties in central Ohio with capacity in its treatment facilities for 45 million gallons per day according to its website.

Columbus' water systems pump 145.1 million gallons a day on average to over 1.36 million residents in Columbus and its suburbs.

Nearby Jefferson Township is also asking residents to conserve water, but that is due to one of its five iron filters recently failing and needing to be replaced.

Albert Iosue, the director of Jefferson Water and Sewer District, said the utility serves about 4,000 customers, and hot summer temperatures are doubling demand among them. But Iosue said once the filter is replaced, the utility will be good to go for the rest of the summer.

Steele said Columbus monitors weather patterns, reservoir elevations and keeps an eye on the daily demands of the system. The city's three reservoirs are full, except for the Hoover reservoir, which is down about a foot.

"Here in Columbus, we've been fortunate to have good city planners that have put us in a position to have a diverse and robust water supply," Steele said.