UPDATE: Sprinkling ban lifted in Port Edwards - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

UPDATE: Sprinkling ban lifted in Port Edwards


UPDATE - The sprinkling ban in Port Edwards has been lifted.  

The village's engineer/administrator says  maintenance on the wells is complete and the system is back to full capacity.  Normal seasonal sprinkling restrictions are back in place.


A Wood County community asks people to stop watering their lawns. Port Edwards village leaders started a sprinkling ban on Monday night and other Wood County leaders have considered banning it too.

If grass could talk, patches around our state would likely be begging for water.

"The drought of 2012," said David Lemke, who lives in Port Edwards. "I mean, the conditions have been terrible. We need rain. It's been several weeks now since we've had rain and without a sprinkling system, the yard's pretty brown at this point."

An extra-dry summer has parched lawns and threatened to dry up water supplies across Wood County. In Port Edwards, a new sprinkling ban restricts people from watering their grass and gardens with water connected to the village's public supply. Some said through the scorching summer, they've given up on trying to keep their grass alive.

"At this point, I think it's gone a little bit too far," said Lemke. "I think we'll just wait for Mother Nature to do her thing and wait for the grass to come back and turn green if it's possible again."

Just across the river in Wisconsin Rapids, city council members considered a ban of their own.

"We're pretty much dependent on the big boy upstairs for water," said Lee Albrecht, who serves as an alderperson in Wisconsin Rapids' third district. "If it rains and snows, we're good. But if it doesn't rain and snow, we could be hurting and we just want people to be made aware of the fact that we need to conserve as much water as we can."

After further investigation, Wisconsin Rapids city leaders learned their water levels are actually a little higher this year than they have been in the past. But that doesn't mean they're in the clear. City officials said people should still be careful not to waste their precious water supply.

"I'm not telling people to quit taking showers, quit taking baths, quit drinking water -- no," said Albrecht. "I'm not saying that at all. But there's other ways we can conserve."

Back in Port Edwards, village officials said they're working to improve the current well systems. Community leaders said they hope to lift the ban by next Wednesday. People in Port Edwards said they're crossing their fingers the grass grows back someday.

People in the village are allowed to water with watering cans.

Port Edwards police are keeping watch for people breaking the ban. Village officials said a first offense will get you a warning. And if they have to come back again, you could get a citation for more than $70.

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