Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer invited Harrison to attend Monday night’s regular meeting of the Warsaw City Council and provide an update on local water supplies. The request was made after the Indiana Department of Homeland Security issued notices July 2 asking municipalities to curb water usage by as much as 15 percent.
The Indiana Department of Environmental Management, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, has issued a Water Shortage Warning for 32 Indiana counties – including Kosciusko, Elkhart, Fulton, LaGrange, Noble, Marshall, Whitley and Wabash – that continue to be severely affected by the prolonged drought.
But Harrison says Indiana American Water initiated improvements in the system last year that prepared the city for the stage 2 water shortage advisory issued earlier this month. “For the last 12 to 14 days days we’ve been seeing (usage) at 4.1 to 4.6 million gallons a day. Total capacity is 6 million gallons per day so we’re not at capacity yet,” says Harrison, noting the record day of usage saw 4.6 million gallons of water usage in one day.
Harrison also notes the city has received a total of 18 new water customers this year. “We’ve seen organic customers, including 5 in the last month. Those are people who’s wells dried up so they’ve hooked onto the city’s system. But even with those, we are still operating under capacity.”
While many people with wells are seeing their water supply dry up, at least in the city limits, Harrison says, “We have a drought contingency plan that was put into place … People can continue to water their flowers and grass.”