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Billings rescinds water restrictions after recent rainfall and cooler temperatures

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Posted at 2:52 PM, Aug 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-20 19:58:45-04

BILLINGS- Billings Public Works is rescinding the Monday city water restrictions for residents starting Aug. 2.

The restrictions were set to go until Sept. 6 but Louis Engels with the water department says that has now been rescinded immediately.

Engels says the primary concern for restrictions was both for capacity and heating. He says some of the water department’s equipment was working too hard to keep up with demand and starting to fail.

“When you run equipment harder, it heats up harder and harder and it works overtime,” he said.

But with a turn of cold weather and much-needed rain, officials saw the water demand decrease in a considerable way.

As MTN News already reported, on the first Monday that restrictions were in place, they saw water demand decrease some 40 percent.

“I think people tighten their belts a bit,” he said.

On top of that, Engels said they also noticed city water residents used an additional 10 percent less water in the six following days after the first Monday restriction was put in place.

“Overall demand dropped 10 percent even before the storm,” he said.

Engels says he was really encouraged by the community’s willingness to chip in and help.

At the beginning of July, the city of Bozeman implemented stage 2 drought restrictions. Officials say the goal was to get a 20 percent reduction in watering.

Engels says he’s impressed Billings was able to achieve 40 percent.

“A big thank you to the community. It really made a difference,” he said.