The city of Tecumseh is trickling toward being able to use its water resources from Wes Watkins Reservoir, but in the meantime, as the city purchases water elsewhere, officials are encouraging residents to conserve water in their daily lives.
City Manager Jimmy Stokes said brochures have been sent out to all water customers with tips on how to conserve water usage.
The city, which is currently purchasing about 600,000 gallons of Shawnee water from the Pottawatomie County Development Authority, is worried about increased usage as spring and summer months approach.
The city council, in a past meeting, gave Stokes the authority to begin water rationing as soon as it is needed. For now, the demands and usage are such that he’s beginning with voluntary conservation.
“We’ll see if that works,” he said.
While drought and low levels at Tecumseh Lake prompted the city to begin buying Shawnee water for its residents, the process is ongoing to get a system in place that will help Tecumseh use it’s share of water from Wes Watkins Reservoir.
The nine-mile raw water line project will begin at the reservoir in McLoud and bring water to the city’s treatment plan. The city has secured a $3.8 million loan for the water lines and for further improvements at the water treatment plant.
Stokes said easements have been obtained from all but two of 19 property owners affected by the water line route.
For the remaining two, Stokes said it appears the city will face court procedures as they request imminent domain in order to install that line, which could cause some delays in the overall project.
Despite that, Stokes anticipates permits could be issued in April for construction to begin in May or June.
It’s estimated it could take as much as six months for the water line project to be completed.
Watch for updates.