Cloverdale officials ask residents to ration outdoor water use

Cloverdale, beset with water supply problems, is again asking residents to ration outdoor use.

Despite drilling new test wells and replacing an aged well over the past several years, the city has been unable to provide more water to customers.

Peak demand on hot days in May and June has come close to maxing out the system's capacity to deliver to Cloverdale's population of 8,629.

"We're not in a crisis mode at the moment. What we want to do is make sure we don't get there," City Councilwoman Carol Russell said.

Besides serving current customers, Russell said it's also important for the city water system to provide for new businesses and residents in Cloverdale.

The city is asking residents to water outdoors every other day at the most, and refrain completely on Mondays, to allow the system to replenish.

During recent dry years, a number of North Bay cities instituted water conservation measures. But Cloverdale is alone in asking its citizens to ration water use during a year of normal precipitation.

The problem stems from the limitations of the city's wells that draw from the Russian River.

"We have four wells. They are our workhorse," said Public Works Director and City Engineer Craig Scott. "A couple are pretty old - 35 to 40 years — and over time their production capacity starts dropping."

An old well was replaced with a new one, but other test wells were not promising.

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