The City of Vernon has implemented its Stage Three Level Drought Contingency Plan. This move came Tuesday when city leaders saw water well levels at nearly 25 percent under capacity. Stage three means landscape watering can only be done between the hours of 6 p.m. to 10 a.m.
Public Works Director Bob Cochran says watering as well as washing cars must be done during the early morning or late at night. They are also asking business to cut back 15 percent of water usage. City Manager Mitch Grant says the city has never in history gone into stage one, let alone stage three. He says this is the worst drought they've ever experienced.
Vernon has already had one of its 34 water wells run dry. Two more wells have only one to two feet of water. Grant says, "Even stage one, we've never been this dry. And this is just a unique thing for us to have to deal with this extreme drought weather."
Each water well in Vernon contains about 20 to 30 feet of water. The residents did save up to 22 percent during the stage two restrictions. Cochran says it has helped the city not drop water levels as fast.
Cochran says both stages one and two are voluntary stages, but with the stage three being mandatory, they will issue citations. And residents could be fined up to $200 dollars. Vernon City Officials say it is possible residents could be placed under stage four restrictions in September if the drought continues.