City asks for reduced water use

Oak Harbor is asking residents to conserve water because the Skagit River is running a little low, the city reported.

The city buys its water from Anacortes, which runs a treatment plant on the Skagit River near Mount Vernon. The water is piped to Oak Harbor and the Navy base on Whidbey Island.

The river is experiencing seasonal low water flow conditions.

As a result, water customers are being asked to reduce their water usage by 10 percent, which is about 15 to 20 gallons a day.

The state Department of Ecology has established minimum “instream” flows for the river. These minimum flow levels fluctuate throughout the year and are designed to primarily protect fish habitat.

“Although every year is different,” a city press release states, “there are generally two times a year when we anticipate the Skagit River falling below instream flow levels – once in late winter/early spring and again in late summer/fall.”

The city suggests that people can save water by doing such simple things as taking shorter showers, turn off water while brushing teeth, let lawns go dormant in the summer, water plants deeply and less often, fix leaks and flush toilets less.

For water conservation tips, see the city’s website www.oakharbor.org, Facebook page www.facebook.com/OakHarbor or Channel 10.

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