Ryderwood residents are heeding a call to conserve water since the creek that supplies the retirement community completely dried up last week, according to Cowlitz County Public Works officials.
Water use last weekend was about 80 percent of normal, and a bout of rain late last week has restored some flow in Campbell Creek, Public Works spokesman Mark Koelsch said Thursday.
The county, which operates the water system, asked the 270 or so customers to adopt conservation measures, such as taking shorter showers, refraining from outdoor watering and brushing teeth without running the water.
The call for restrictions took effect Aug. 9 and will continue until further notice.
Ryderwood, which is located near the Cowlitz-Lewis County Line, is the second community in the county asked to conserve water due to drought conditions that began in Southwest Washington in May. Kelso residents also have been asked to save water due to reduced flows in the Cowlitz River.
The reservoir that serves Ryderwood can supply the community’s needs for up to 10 days without any replenishment from Campbell Creek, so there is no immediate danger of faucets going dry. Nevertheless, no significant rain is in sight beyond some showers Monday. The situation could get more severe, Koelsch said.
“Cowlitz County considers this to be a serious situation and appreciates every customer’s participation. It remains the county’s hope that this will be a temporary condition. County staff are exploring viable options to obtain water to serve the citizens of Ryderwood in the event that drought conditions persist,” according to the county’s Aug. 9 announcement of the water restrictions.
At a meeting with county officials this week, homeowners expressed worry about availability of water for firefighting. But Koelsch said fires there would likely be fought with fire agency water tankers and not the municipal water system.
Contact City Editor Andre Stepankowsky at 360-577-2520.
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