North Bend will Soon Move to Stage 2 of Water Conservation Ordinance

Effective Tuesday, October 6, 2020, North Bend Public Works Director Mark Rigos has declared the City will move to Stage 2 of its Water Conservation Ordinance (WCO) until further notice. The WCO applies to all homes and businesses within the North Bend City limits.

WCO Stage 2 imposes additional rules for water usage, most notable is that residents can irrigate landscaping 3 times per week instead of each day as provided in Stage 1.

During Stage 2 all Stage 1 rules remain in place, including allowed watering times between 6PM and 10AM when less evaporation occurs.

Stage 2 of the WCO limits landscape and pasture irrigation – except drip irrigation – to a maximum of 3 days per week based on the following odd-even schedule:

· Customers with odd street addresses can irrigate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

· Customers with even street addresses can water on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

· No irrigation is allowed on Mondays.

Hand and manual watering follows the same odd/even house number schedule, but may be done anytime during the day.

Additional Stage 2 restrictions include no washing of streets, parking lots, driveways, sidewalks, buildings or other hardscape surfaces, except as necessary for health, sanitation or fire protection purposes; water will only be served upon request at restaurants; public and private streetscape landscaping (medians and frontage) will be watered on the same above odd/even schedule; no water from the city water system will be used for construction purposes without proper approval.

Why is Stage 2 required? The Puget Sound region has received virtually no rain in the past 100 days, except for a three-day rain event last week. The City’s WCO stages are set by the level of the Chester Morse Lake Masonry Pool located near Rattlesnake Lake, which is owned by Seattle Public Utilities (SPU).

SPU provides/sells water to approximately 25 water jurisdictions in the region, including mitigation water to North Bend. During dry periods, all of those water jurisdictions’ usage draw down masonry pool levels. That masonry pool also feeds Hobo Springs, which provides the City’s required mitigation water that protects the health of the Snoqualmie River.

Earlier this summer the City was hopeful Stage 2 would not be necessary – due to the cool, wet spring and early summer – but the prolonged time period with no significant rainfall, along with the unseasonably hot September, drew the masonry pool lower at a faster pace than predicted.

The City appreciates residents’ efforts to comply with the WCO. Due to shorter days and longer, cooler nights, the City is confident the odd/even water schedule will provide sufficient water to sustain landscaping.

Location of the Chester Morse Lake Masonry Pool near Rattlesnake Lake.

Please be advised that due to changing weather conditions and SPU operations and maintenance of the Masonry Pool and Dam, the exact date for entering Stage 2 could change. Currently, though, the City anticipates October 6th as the effective start date.

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