Wapak administrators to monitor water usage

The recent heat wave, which dropped from the high 90s and triple digits to the low 90s for today, is creating additional demand on water treatment systems throughout the county — prompting administrators in one village to ask residents to curtail their usage.
Wapak-oneta Safety-Service Director Bill Rains reported water usage has increased in the past week as temperatures soared and lawns and gardens thirsted for water, but it is not a problem yet.
“We are fortunate enough not to experience the same problems as our brethren in other communities in Auglaize County,” Rains said. “These are tough conditions, but it is business as usual for the city. We are in good shape and we don’t anticipate requesting residents curtail their water usage at this point in time, but if the heat wave continues we will re-evaluate where we stand.”
Rains said every community in the area could use some rain to help fill the aquifers from which the wells pump.
Wapakoneta Water Treatment Plant Superintendent Brent Hamel reported city water usage increased to 1.7 million gallons per day from an average of 1.5 million gallons per day. He said they are well within the capacity of the new Wapakoneta Water Treatment Plant capacity of 2.5 million gallons of water per day.
He also said the wells seem to be fine at this point.
Rains and Hamel reported New Bremen Mayor Jeff Paper sent out a release that they were imposing a water use advisory for the village.Pape asked residents to curb water use by eliminating practices such as watering lawns, washing cars and operating outdoor fountains.
“This is a very delicate situation that could easily turn into an emergency,” Pape said in the news release. “Our concern is that if any of our wells are depleted, it could take days or weeks to recharge them and we would have anemergency. We hope that residents fully observe these voluntary measures which should help avoid mandatory restrictions.”
A lack of precipitation has caused a spike in water usage in the village. Water usage in New Bremen has increased by 33 percent in July. Last year, the average daily water use was 403,000 gallons. On Tuesday, village users consumed 537,000 gallons of water.
“Our system of wells ordinarily delivers about 250,000 to 400,000 gallons per day,” Water Superintendent Greg Dennings said in the news release. “The wells can supply upwards of 800,000 gallons for a single day if they are run continuously, but that does not allow the wells sufficient time to recharge. As recently as Sunday, July 3, we were pumping under 300,000 gallons per day.”
The village also has taken steps to curb its water consumption. The automatic watering system for Lock One Park has been turned off and any watering will be down by using canal or water collected from the discharge system at the wastewater treatment plant.

Staff Writer Mike Burkholder contributed to this story.