Ridgway water restrictions rise to mandatory

by Dalton Carver

Following voluntary water restrictions enacted last April, Ridgway residents will have their water restricted even further on recommendation from Town Manager Jen Coates. She informed council of the change at its regular meeting the evening of June 13.
As of June 12, the town began drawing water from Lake Otonowanda. As part of the water management resolution ratified by council in April, that action would signify the beginning of the second phase of the resolution - mandatory water restrictions in Ridgway.
With the second step, only outdoor water use will be regulated, excluding drip systems and hand watering. Water users in Ridgway should have been notified of the mandatory restrictions June 20.
With the restriction’s implementation also comes enforcement. Each initial water violation will begin at $150 and rise with continuous days of violations.
If considered, the third phase of water restrictions would likely see a reduction of indoor water use. Each resident’s base monthly water rate provides 9,000 gallons of water. With the enactment of Phase 3, that figure would be reduced and exceeding it would cost residents more. The new rate structure would be brought to council in an emergency ordinance.
“From Phase 2 to Phase 3 is a huge step,” said Coates.
Coates also mentioned that 9,000-gallon base rate was something council has desired to revisit and consider changing in the past.

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