We love to see the grass greener and the flowers blooming. The signs of Spring have definitely started, but even with the recent storms, the water levels in West Lake are still below levels to properly meet demand for the community. Brandon Patterson, Osceola Water Works Water Superintendent recently sent an update to Osceola’s City Administrator warning of the condition of water at West Lake.

“We’re currently asking Osceola water users to operate under Water Conservation Plan: Section 2,” said Patterson. “Once we have confirmation updates to the intake can be made, or until we receive some substantial Spring rain, it’s important we conserve water where we can.”

west lake in osceola iowa source of water West Lake, Osceola’s single source of consumer and commercial water has been operating above the safe water withdrawal rates for more than a year. A recent 12-month average showed Osceola’s water withdrawal rate from West Lake at 1,479,994 gallons/day.  According to engineer studies, the safe daily withdrawal rate should be 900,000 gallons/day to maintain service to its customers. This overage caused the board, in October of 2022, to enact Section 2 of the Osceola Water Works Conservation Plan to help mitigate any water issues until intake levels can be evaluated.

This month the water department will have divers in West Lake to evaluate the options available for raising the lower intake, allowing for cleaner water sourcing as well as avoiding the algae issues often seen in the Spring. This is intended to meet part of the demand, but conservation measures will still need to be considered.

We know the warmer weather means watering lawns and washing cars, but until we review the West Lake intake and source options, we ask the community to work together to reduce the casual use of water.” said Patterson.

What does Section 2: Water Warning conservation plan mean to Osceola water customers?

  1. Outdoor watering and irrigation is prohibited, except as follows.
  2. Watering or irrigation of flower and vegetable gardens, trees and shrubs less than 4-years old, and new seeding or sod is permitted once a week with an application not to exceed 1-inch. Watering shall only be done between the hours of 8:00 P.M. to 8:00 A.M.
  3. Car washing is prohibited, except at commercial establishments that provide that service.
  4. No water shall be used to fill private swimming pools, children’s wading pools, reflecting pools or any other outdoor pool or pond.
  5. No water shall be used to wash streets, parking lots, driveways, sidewalks or building exteriors.
  6. No water shall be used for nonessential cleaning of commercial and industrial equipment, machinery, and interior spaces.
  7. Water shall be served at restaurants only upon request of the customer.

If you have questions or would like more information on the Osceola Water Works Conservation Plan or services provided through Osceola Water Works, please contact Brandon Patterson, Water Superintendent at the Osceola Water Works, 208 W Jefferson St, Osceola, IA 50213, phone: (641) 342-1435, email: [email protected].