By News-Register staff • 

Yamhill declares water emergency, increases restrictions for all users

Although water use has dropped in Yamhill since the city implemented restrictions on Friday, it hasn't dropped enough, City Council members agreed Wednesday evening.

The council declared an emergency and added restrictions, saying users will not be able to water lawns, wash cars or buildings, or water flowers, shrubbery, crops and other plants.

The restrictions apply equally to city residents and users to live in 10 small water districts near Yamhill, such as Lazy River, Lilac Hill and the South and West Yamhill districts. The districts include 169 hookups and represent almost half the total amount of water that's used.

New restrictions took place at midnight Wednesday, a few hours after the meeting.

The council met in an emergency session last week and declared the initial restrictions, which allowed residents to water gardens from 6 p.m. to 10 a.m. Council members said at the time they might increase restrictions if water use didn't drop and neither did the level of Turner Creek, from which Yamhill draws its water.

Turner Creek has dropped, according to city worker Kyle Adams. As of July 1, the city was able to draw about 440 gallons per minute from the creek; now it's down to about 300 gallons per minute.

Fire Chief Brian Jensen, director of Yamhill's Emergency Operations Center — opened Monday because of the water crisis — said he expects the creek to continue dropping. It may be reduced to 280 gallons a minute by next week, which would trigger additional restrictions on water use.

If the creek drops to 250 gallons per minute, Yamhill will need to truck in water for residents to drink and use for other necessities, he said.




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