As temperatures hit record levels, Carson City's water utility is keeping up with the demand to keep people cool -- but barely.
Utility Operations Manager Tom Hoffert said users are drawing 21 million gallons a day from the city's water system, which is exactly how much water it can produce.
"We're doing everything we can," Hoffert said. "The more multiple, hot days with high demand, the harder (it is) for the water system to recover. We're at the limit of our ability to produce."
By the end of July, Hoffert said, the city will have a new well on line that will add up to 1.5 million gallons a day. Until then, however, Hoffert asked Carson residents to avoid wasting water to keep the city from an emergency situation.
Carson residents are setting records, using 1.7 million gallons between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m., up from 1.3 million gallons at the same time last year.
Water restrictions in Carson went into effect June 1 and remain in place until October 1. Odd-numbered addresses are allowed to water lawns on odd days of a month. Even-numbered addresses water on even days. Watering is prohibited on the 31st of any month and daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Exemptions are available. Call 887-2355, ext. 1025, for information.
Even with these restrictions, which most users follow voluntarily, Hoffert said his water watchers still find water puddled on streets.
"We're catching a lot of problems of waste water," he said. "Puddles don't look good when the community as a whole is trying to follow the ordinance and conserve water.
"Be conscious and use water wisely and efficiently. It will help us all."
Enforcement of water violations usually means a verbal warning for a first offense, a written warning on the second offense and then a misdemeanor citation. Fines range from $50 to $500. Hoffert said water watchers issued 315 verbal and written warnings in June.