Citizens Energy Group is asking its customers to help conserve water by decreasing the amount they water their lawns.
Last Wednesday, Citizens Energy Group stated people used 231 million gallons of water. Last Thursday, they said 233 million gallons of water were used. Citizens Energy Group Corporate Communications Manager Dan Considine said those totals were record breaking numbers.
Shortly after that, the northern part of Central Indiana did receive some rain, which, Considine said helped reduce the amount of water people were using.
"Since then, usage levels has risen pretty dramatically," Considine said. "What we really need people to do is to limit lawn watering like to no more than once per week."
Considine said 40 percent of the water being used by its customers goes to irrigating lawns.
"If we don't get rain over the weekend, we believe by early next week, we may be looking at a lawn watering ban," he said. "But, again, it'll depend on the rain this weekend and it'll also depend on how customers respond to our requests (to) reduce lawn watering."
According to Considine, Citizens Energy Group noticed pressure problems in Zionsville and Whitestown because a significant number of people were using water and, he said, the system has its limits. That's why Friday, there was a voluntary ban issued for watering your lawn in Zionsville. Considine said the Whitestown Council issued a mandatory ban on watering your lawn Friday, as well.
While Citizens Energy Group, continues to ask people in its entire coverage area to cut back on watering their lawns, that does not include, watering your garden, plants, vegetables, flowers, newly planted grass or young trees.
If a ban is put in place, it could start as a voluntary ban. It could turn into a stricter ban if the mayor issues a City Water Conservation Ordinance. The ordinance would include watering your lawn, washing cars and filling swimming pools.
"We are not there yet. We look at a number of factors, but we are getting close, " he stated. "There's a cold front forecast for this weekend. It is going to get cooler going into next week.
"If we get some significant rain that might give us enough time for the system to recover and we may not need to issue a ban, but if it doesn't, it looks like we might be there by next week.
"We want to make sure reservoir levels are high enough and we have seen them decline so we are concerned about that and the reservoirs help us manage the drought on the long-term," Considine said.
He also said they are concerned about the distribution system.
"When it runs at such high levels, you can see a lot of water main breaks. We're certainly concerned about that."