Effective Thursday, October 20, 2022, 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.
WCO Stage 2 provides residents with a series of simple directives for water usage:
- You can irrigate landscaping three times per week rather than each day, as provided in Stage 1. The volume of watering users choose for their irrigation is not affected by the WCO. However, the city urges users to be mindful of their water use at any time, as conservation results in better health of the Snoqualmie River.
- You can water between 6 p.m. and 10 a.m. when less evaporation occurs. This is a continuation of the WCO Stage 1 directive.
- Landscape and pasture irrigation – except drip irrigation – is limited to a maximum of three 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.
Public and private streetscape landscaping (medians and frontage) will be watered on the same odd/even schedule.
- While hand and manual watering follow the same odd/even house number schedule, it may be done at any time during the day.
- There will be 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.
- No water from the city water system will be used for construction purposes without prior City approval.
As a reminder, if you install or already have a drip irrigation system and that is your sole source of watering, you are exempt from the WCO.
Why is Stage 2 required?
The WCO is part of North Bend City Council’s ongoing commitment to be good stewards of the environment, conserve a limited natural resource and protect the Snoqualmie River.
The City’s WCO stages are set by levels 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 those water jurisdictions’ usage draws down Masonry Pool levels. Masonry Pool also feeds Hobo Springs through an underground moraine, which supplies the city with mitigation water that helps protect the health of the Snoqualmie River.
Earlier this year, the city was hopeful Stage 2 would not be needed – due to the fairly large preceding winter snowpack and cool, wet spring. However, once the dry heat arrived in the Puget Sound region in June, it did not leave.
Western Washington is now experiencing its driest summer since 1930 and warmest since the 1890s. In fact, according to the National Weather Service, on October 16, Seattle hit 88 degrees, its second warmest day in October in almost 130 years. The prolonged period with no rain and an unseasonably hot September and October have drawn the Masonry Pool lower at a faster pace than anticipated.
Resources and more information about local water conservation and weather events can be found here:
In 2021, the city of North Bend joined the Saving Water Partnership, an organization comprised of 19 water utilities. Residents have access to rebates, free assessments and more.
- One way to track localized, daily forecasts and more, is by visiting the National Weather Service, at www.weather.gov.
[Information provided by the City of North Bend]