City, town of Brookfield ban watering lawns
New lawns can be watered, if owners have permits
No matter how brown the grass looks, Brookfield officials are insisting citizens not water their lawns until this hot, dry weather breaks. A burn ban was the first step to protect the area, something the city and town of Brookfield, as well as Elm Grove all instituted in recent weeks.
Now, with pumps working overtime, city and town officials have asked residents not to water their lawns or risk being cited. Police have been warning homeowners and citations have been written for repeat offenders, says Public Works Director Tom Grisa.
Pumps running continuously
Grisa explains the water pumps in the city are as active as they've ever been, running almost constantly in some cases. Water Superintendent Mark Simon said the city can't continue to operate at such a high level.
"Many of our well pumps are running 20 to 24 hours per day," he explained.
"This is unsustainable as the pumps and motors never get a chance to rest or cool down, especially with the hot weather."
Reports have Brookfield as much as 6.5 inches of rain behind normal, leaving grass and plants woefully short of water.
There is some evidence that the city ban is working.
"We're pumping a little less water than we were before the ban, so there's evidence of compliance," Grisa says.
"We're still pumping way more water than we normally do."
Grisa also points out that private wells could be negatively affected if water continues to be used at such a high rate.
"It not only protects the municipal water supply, but acts as a defense for those still on private wells which are likely to be affected first if groundwater elevations continue to drop."
City and town policies for watering flowers are based on your address and only cover hand-watering. Property owners may water flower beds and shrubs from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m. based on address.
Even numbered properties may be water on even numbered days and odd numbered properties may be water on odd numbered days based on the 6 p.m. start time.
In both the town and city of Brookfield, special exceptions can be made in regard to the watering rule for recent lawn work. Permits are necessary for such watering and residents will have to prove the lawn is new.
In fact, Grisa says the city has held back planting some grass in places where construction and other road work has been done simply out of pragmatics
"There's no sense in planting grass only to see it die or to run up extraordinary water bills for residents to pay to water it."
In the city of Brookfield, a fine of $492 will be leveled on those who fail to comply with the city's ban. In the town, the penalty is between $82.50 and $88.80.
Elm Grove officials have not come out with a statement regarding watering.
The village has had a burn ban in place.
The bans remain in effect until further notice.
Your link to the biggest stories in the suburbs delivered Thursday mornings.
Enter your e-mail address above and click "Sign Up Now!" to begin receiving your e-mail newsletter Get the Newsletter!
- Man charged with fleeing Brookfield police making drunken driving stop
- City: Drinking water is safe despite contamination warning
- Purses targeted in car break-ins outside Wilson Center
- Guaranty Bank in Brookfield robbed
- Auditors draw different conclusions on Azana spa shooter case
- Residents wait for answers on cell tower
- Business owners launch school funding initiative
- Elmbrook students honor most influential teachers
- St. John Vianney celebrates year's end with Grills and Guitars
- High school seniors can leave building during study hall period