Drought means watching water

Dennis Box

The Courier-Herald

It may be raining, but that doesn't mean it's wet.

State officials have warned about drought conditions this summer due to the dry winter conditions and low snow pack in the mountains.

Bonney Lake has experienced water shortages the last two summers and the Tacoma Water intertie was turned on last summer.

City officials are encouraging conservation as summer approaches.

"During the winter, residents use less than half the water used during the summer," Public Works Director Dan Grigsby said. "Watering yards takes a lot of the water."

Grigsby said he doesn't expect severe problems in the city. Wells and springs supply most of city. The Tacoma Water intertie is turned on during an emergency.

The city signed a deal with Tacoma Water earlier this year to supply water to the east and north end of Lake Tapps, outside the Bonney Lake city limits.

Grigsby said the first phase of the pipeline should be completed by July.

The city suggests the following measures to help conserve water and save money on water and sewer bills.

Inside the home

€ Use showers instead of tub baths.

€ When showering, turn water on to get wet, then turn off the water, wash without water running, and then rinse.

€ Use flash heaters under the counter of sinks to warm water instantly instead of letting the water run until it is warm.

€ Turn dish washers on when going to bed instead of during peak water use times, when dinners are being prepared.

€ Wash larger loads of clothing instead of several small loads.

€ Take showers at night instead of in the morning.

Outside the home

€ Always use a nozzle on the end of hoses when washing vehicles.

€ Limit grass watering to no more than three times a week for 30-minutes per zone.

€ Place 3 to 6 inches of mulch or wood chips on top of all gardens and around trees to keep water from evaporating.

€ Wash cars on grassy areas instead of in your driveway. The water will serve two purposes.

€ Water grass and gardens after the sun goes down or just before sunrise. Water will sink into the ground instead of evaporating into the air.

Dennis Box can be reached at

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