HAYDEN LAKE - With summer temperatures expected to stay in the 90s for another week, some water districts are calling on customers to voluntarily cut back on watering the yard.
Sherri Galdi, accounts manager for the Hayden Lake Irrigation District, said its four-pump system is running at full capacity and cannot keep pace with the demand.
"We are seeing spikes in usage during the early morning hours, which we determined is from sprinkler use," she said. "The weather forecast is expecting the hot dry weather to stay for a while."
Galdi said the spike is from 3 a.m. until about 8 a.m., which is typically due to sprinkler timers.
She said the district is asking its customers to voluntarily reduce water use. That includes curtailing irrigation and updating the automatic water systems.
"If customers can water every other day and the separate irrigators change the watering time to run from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., this will help the district immensely," she said. "That would help balance the demand between the large irrigators and the home use."
While other water districts are seeing increased demand during the hot weather, they are not at full capacity.
North Kootenai County Water District manages 15 water systems across the county, but so far only one of its smallest districts has had to voluntarily conserve water.
"They were running their reservoirs pretty low, so we sent them a letter asking them to voluntarily go to an even-odd watering schedule," said Manager Mike Galante. "Since the letter went out, their reservoirs are staying pretty good."
The city of Coeur d'Alene has the capacity to pump 35 million gallons of water a day during the summer months, but so far it is only pumping about 25 million gallons a day.
Coeur d'Alene Water Superintendent Jim Markley said the city doesn't have a set water conservation policy, but it does encourage its customers to water during the cooler hours of the day.
"We also encourage them to water less frequently, and water deeply," he said. "That actually builds stronger turf too."
He said experts say grass needs about one inch of water per week. He suggests putting out a tuna can when watering to measure how often and how much to irrigate each week.
John Beacham, from the Post Falls Water Department, said water demand is definitely increased during the heat, but it is not having any issues with meeting the demand.
The city of Post Falls does have a water policy stating that customers should not irrigate their lawns between noon and 6 p.m., and that even numbered addresses water on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Odd numbered homes are only supposed to water on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.