Carthage's water conservation measures have not stabilized the level of the city's lake reservoir.
Second Ward Alderman Gary Smith says the measures have reduced water consumption since they were enacted last month.
He says, “Before it (got) to be critical, we started saving, trying to have conservation. It's been real good. The usage is down significantly.”
The city banned businesses watering their lawns. The city also asked residents to voluntarily reduce their water consumption. Smith says consumption has been cut from 250,000 gallons per day to 210,000.
Carthage is being pro-active by encouraging water conservation by a combination of mandatory and voluntary measures.
Businesses are required to stop watering their lawns.
Second-ward Alderman Gary Smith says the city is concerned since the level at the city's lake has fallen by five feet recently.
He expects businesses will honor the ban. Smith says, “We've had good luck in the past and I think we'll probably not have any problem this time.”Businesses that ignore the order could be subject to fines.
Carthage is trying a new solution to a persistent problem last year-water discoloration. The city's drinking water was never unsafe, just unsavory. It was frequently a dull green. The city liberally applied chemicals to the water with little effect.
Second-ward Alderman Gary Smith says the three aerators will bubble air through the lake. The action will thoroughly mix the layers of water and reduce algae formation.
He says, “This is kind of an ongoing process. It might take a year to get the lake rehabilitated.”
Carthage might have to raise what it charges for fire calls outside the city limits.
Fire Chief Gary Smith said the department doesn't cover a fire district. It is a city department that provides a service within a designated area. Since people in the area don't pay a tax for fire protection, they get a bill when the fire department responds to a call.
He said, ”With the rising fuel costs, diesel costs a lot. Equipment costs a lot. We take around a half-million dollars worth of equipment and between that and the fuel cost we can spend more than we bring in.”