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City of Bloomington continues to use Mackinaw River water in absence of snow

Mon, 07 Jan 2013 17:30:25 CST
By: Charlie Schlenker

A lack of snowfall this winter has slowed the amount of water running into lakes Bloomington and Evergreen, the water supply for the City of Bloomington. After last year's drought, the lakes remain a combined six and a half feet below capacity. But, City Water Director Craig Cummings says he's not too concerned because the city continues to pump water from the Mackinaw River to replenish the reservoirs.   

"We're up over 500 million gallons that we have been able to pump from the Mackinaw River up into the Evergreen Lake reservoir. So that has allowed us to gain in that reservoir with the very small amount of precipitation we have had over the last several months."

Cummings says if no other precipitation helps recharge the lakes, the city has the authority from the state to pump another 500 million gallons from the river. Last summer, the city called for voluntary water restrictions. Later this month, Cummings says city staff will ask aldermen for permission to change water restriction guidelines to reflect the time of year.

"A particular deficit in our reservoirs is more important in the spring time than perhaps it is in the fall."

Cummings says he remains hopeful snowfall and pumping will allow the city to enter springtime with full lakes.

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