Olney Stops Water Sales to Wind Farm

Published: Aug. 11, 2011 at 1:56 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 11, 2011 at 2:18 AM CDT
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The City of Olney has cut off bulk water sales to a construction company involved in the Trinity Hills Wind Farm construction. The move was to help conserve water levels in the city's supply. The decision was made days before city leaders moved to enact Phase 2 of the drought contingency plan.

Newschannel 6 received several calls from residents concerned about the sale of water to the construction crews. Speaking on the phone, City Administrator Danny Parker confirmed the city had sold a little over 5M gallons of water to the company between April 19 and June 28, 2011. That figure was just a fraction of the 46M gallons the city pumped in the same time period.

The company was cut off late last week. " I told the companies early on in the project if we had to start worrying about the water situation, they would need to find a new place to buy water," said Parker "They knew this was coming and have made other arrangements to get water."

The decision went over well with Olney residents. "It was a great step, it conserves our water and helps us in the long run," said Alfonso Garibay. Garibay has lived in Olney his entire life and has never seen the climate so dry. "It worries me all the time, where are we going to get our water from. How are we going to make it, you know," he said.

The lake level is actually just above the normal trigger point for Phase 2, according to Parker. The area went into the summer with an ample supply of water. Parker said there have been years in which the city has enacted Phase 2 as early as May.

There are restrictions that come with the increased status. Residents living on even numbered streets can water on even numbered days, odd numbered streets on odd numbered days.

There is no watering between Noon and 6 p.m.

Paul Harrop, Newschannel 6