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St. George Asks Residents to Conserve Water

St. George Asks Residents to Conserve Water

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ST. GEORGE, Utah (AP) - City officials are encouraging water conservation despite a heavier-than-average rainfall season that brought southern Utah out of a drought.

"Just because we're out of the drought doesn't mean we have unlimited water," St. George city conservation coordinator RenÄe Fleming said.

City water supplies will be limited in part because a water treatment facility will be closed through the first week of April for construction that will double the size of the plant near Quail Creek Reservoir, city water services department chief Barry Barnum said.

So even though city water use is low this time of year, conservation -- especially in outside watering -- is still necessary, he added.

"We should be in good shape for this summer once we get to mid-April," Barnum said.

Fleming recommends residents check soil moisture before watering and delay fertilizing until mid-April. Fertlizing requires extra watering, so officials suggest residents do it before a rain storm.

St. George residents are using about 13.8 million gallons of water per day, despite recent rains. Last year at this time the city was using about 11 million gallons per day. During the summer peak last year, the city used 38 million gallons per day.

January's floods also damaged water wells near Gunlock, which is contributing to water availability, Fleming said. She also said it is too early in the year to set irrigation clocks for regular watering.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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