Lake Elmo among latest Minnesota cities to implement outdoor watering ban

The ban prohibits automatic or mechanical watering outdoors in an effort to conserve water during the period of extreme heat.
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The city of Lake Elmo is among the Minnesota cities to implement emergency water bans amid record-breaking heat.

Lake Elmo Acting Mayor Lisa McGinn issued the ban effective Friday at 5 p.m. The ban prohibits all outdoor watering with mechanical or automatic means, as well as irrigation and vehicle washing for all properties connected to the Lake Elmo water supply.

The extreme heat means the city’s water supply cannot keep up with current demand, and water towers are too low to provide protection from fire threats, according to the city.

The order does allow for handheld watering of flowers, gardens and landscaping. Residents can also fill wading and swimming pools and use water toys and sprinklers for children.

Properties with new sod will need to obtain a permit from the city to water lawns.

Other cities have implemented similar bans, asking residents to conserve water as record temperatures strain the water supply.

Minnetrista has issued a ban through Tuesday, while Sartell, Sauk Rapids, Delano, Baxter, Dayton, and Carver have also implemented similar policies. 

Delano noted that the city has pumped more than 1 million gallons of water daily for the past six days, while the average is typically 500,000.

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Eden Prairie, Plymouth and Burnsville already have year-round and summer watering restrictions that limit what days residents can water their lawns.

Minnesota has experienced more than a week of temperatures surpassing 90 degrees, and the metro recently set a new record for the longest 90-degree day streak this early in the season.

Parts of the state are experiencing conditions from “abnormally dry” to “severe drought” according to a Thursday map with data from the National Drought Mitigation Center

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