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Extreme heat causing South Dakota cities to limit lawn watering

Updated: Jun. 10, 2021 at 10:39 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The state of South Dakota is in the midst of a record-breaking heatwave, coupled with statewide drought conditions.

Brandon, South Dakota has implemented restrictions on watering lawns due to excessive water usage throughout the city.

The city of Brandon has three stages of water restrictions, green, yellow, and red.

Last week, the city was in the green stage which requires residents to water on only half the days of the week based on their house number.

This stage did not help as much as the city had hoped. They have now had to move to yellow, where residents can water their lawns on just one day a week.

“Unfortunately, it has not slowed down,” said Brandon City Administrator Bryan Read. “I think we hit our peak on Monday when we hit 1.8 million gallons [of water] it dropped to about 1.67 [million] Tuesday, and Wednesday it was back over 1.7 [million.]”

Penalties for not following these restrictions start at a written warning and can work all the way up to having a resident’s water being shut off.

“First of all, if you’re watering your lawn excessively it’s going to cost you a lot of money. Secondly, is it really worth it endangering the rest of your fellow citizens for that green lawn?” asked Read.

Brandon is not the only South Dakota city having to limit watering. The city of Mitchell is now asking residents to help conserve water as well.

“We’ve gone out to the citizens of Mitchell and asked them to follow the guidelines we’ve set forward, which are don’t water between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. If you’re going to water, do it during the morning when it’s cooler,” said Mitchell Mayor Bob Everson.

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