St. Cloud residents use a lot of water at this time of day
St. Cloud is not experiencing the drought conditions this year that we experienced last year. This means there are no restrictions on watering or water use. Tracy Hodel is the Director of Public Works for the City of St. Cloud. She says it’s optimal for people to water their lawns when the sun isn’t out to prevent evaporation. Hodel says the city sees water demand skyrocket around 4 or 5 a.m. each day. She says that because of all this demand, the levels of their towers are dropping. For this reason, Hodel encourages people to schedule their irrigation systems to run between 11 p.m. and 3 a.m. if they can. She doesn’t expect people to get up at 1 a.m. to turn on their sprinklers if they can’t schedule them.
Hodel says the high demand between 4 and 6 a.m. brings the system down. She says if fewer people scheduled their sprinklers between 4 and 6 a.m., it would help even out demand.
Areas south of St. Cloud are experiencing drought in Minnesota. Areas north of St. Cloud are not. Higher-than-normal rainfall in northern Minnesota is impacting water levels on the Mississippi River as it flows south into St. Cloud. Tracy Hodel says this water goes to the St. Cloud drinking water facility and their hydroelectric generating facility. She says the rainfall we have in St. Cloud is helpful for those downriver from us, but the rainfall in northern Minnesota is what’s most beneficial for St. Cloud. Hodel tells Hydro that there is a perfect amount of water coming in, which means they don’t waste the water that comes in due to high water levels.
If you’d like to listen to my conversation with Tracy Hodel, it’s available below.