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Jamestown's water worries prompt ban


The Jamestown water tower

JAMESTOWN, N.D. - A dry summer and problems with the city's wells have prompted Jamestown officials to ban lawn watering until further notice.

The city's five wells have gone from producing a year ago 4,400 gallons per minute to about 3,400 gallons per minute this summer, city administrator Jeff Fuchs said.

The problem: City wells are more than four decades old and mineral buildup around the wellheads hampers the ability of the wells to draw water, Fuchs said.

On top of that, demand for water is up 10 percent this summer, in part because the city has received only about 60 percent of its usual rainfall, he said.

Jamestown is in the process of authorizing the drilling of five new wells, Fuchs said, adding that the wells and distribution network probably won't be completed until sometime next spring.


The work is expected to cost about $600,000.

With restrictions in place, Fuchs said the city will not have a problem keeping water towers filled, which is critical for the city's ability to fight fires.

Fuchs anticipates the restrictions will be eased if the area receives some rain.

Still, the watering ban and dry spell worry some people.

"We have no way of knowing if it is going to get worse," said Gretchen Barnick, owner of Country Gardens Floral and Greenhouse.

Barnick's business sells trees and shrubs, which are covered by the new watering ban.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555

I'm a reporter and a photographer and sometimes I create videos to go with my stories.

I graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead and in my time with The Forum I have covered a number of beats, from cops and courts to business and education.

I've also written about UFOs, ghosts, dinosaur bones and the planet Pluto.

You may reach me by phone at 701-241-5555, or by email at dolson@forumcomm.com
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