Mayor John W.D. Bowling said he had noticed that the flower baskets on Main Street looked dry, and wanted to know if the flowers had not been watered all weekend, when the advisory was in effect. Blenniss said the city staff did not water the flowers in order to set a good example. Bowling said that he was concerned the city wasn't protecting its investment.
After Lancaster Water Works struggled to supply a record 2 million gallons of water this weekend, the city is now one of several calling for voluntary water conservation.
Lancaster and Crab Orchard Water Works are asking residents to conserve water in the upcoming weeks, or at least until a "significant rainfall," said Lancaster superintendent Troy Deshon.
According to Deshon, the record amount of water was treated between noon Saturday and noon Sunday, where the norm is close to half that amount.
Citizens are being asked to cut back on non-critical water usage, such as washing vehicles, filling pools, or watering the lawn, said Deshon. The same holds true for Crab Orchard, which gets all of its water supplied by Lancaster.
John Kuhn, Crab Orchard water/waste water supervisor, said his city was using about 20,000 to 25,000 gallons of water a day above average. People who haul water to livestock were lining up all day, he said.
"We can handle it, but Lancaster's supplying it. It puts a strain on them," Kuhn said. While city water supplies are not yet critically low, it's not raining relief just yet.
No rain in two weeks
Central Kentucky has seen about 2.06 inches of rain this month, reports the National Weather Service, almost half of the average rainfall for the region. Before Monday's brief scattered showers, it hadn't rained in central Kentucky since June 14.
While Lancaster is still able to keep its water tanks filled to a safe capacity, the water department needs a safety net of surplus water for emergency uses such as fighting fires, said Deshon.
Kuhn said conservation could be as simple as turning off the tap when brushing your teeth or shaving. Taking a shower rather than a bath saves between three to five gallons of water, he added.
While many towns are experiencing difficulties with water supplies during the dry weather, "Lake Liberty is in fine shape," said Councilman Earl "Monk" Wilson.
He said Monday that the water level is good and the town has plenty of water.
Mayor Steve Sweeney said hydrants will be flushed Wednesday.
However, East Casey County Water District, which buys treated water from the city, has experienced some problems with water line breaks in the northern section of the county and has a water advisory in effect until further notice. Customers along Ky. 906 and Upper Brush Creek, Chelf Ridge, Woodrum Ridge, Cannon and Button Knob roads remain under a boil water advisory.
A contractor ripped out a main line in over the weekend in that area and the water storage tank drained, said Eddie Wesley, assistant manager of the county water district. Also, the demand for water was greater than the district could supply over the weekend due to high temperatures, he said.
"We're trying to catch up," he said this morning. He added that service is being temporarily disrupted while repairs are being made to the water line and pumps.
"We're not aware of anyone being without water," he said.
Harrodsburg has not issued advisory
Harrodsburg Water Superintendent Robert Norman said that while other nearby cities and water associations have issued water advisories, Harrodsburg has not, despite breaks in the raw water transmission lines.
He said the plant has pumped and treated water for 24 hours in recent days to catch up with the loss of water in the system, hitting near the plant's capacity of 4.5 million gallons a day. Still, there was no shortage and Norman said he talked to personnel at Danville's water plant, offering to supply the nearby city with water if it is needed.
He said this city could transmit the water through Lake Village Water Association's lines, since the association purchases water from both cities and provides water to rural customers in Boyle and Mercer counties. He said Danville officials thanked him for the offer of help, but said they were managing the problem.
Staff writers Liz Maples, Brenda Edwards and Ann Harney contributed to this report.