Pour Some Water On Me: Yankton Water Usage Up

Work was done to clear the Yankton surface water intake of sand in May when the spillway of the Gavins Point Dam was shut down.

We learned recently that South Dakota was one of more then 24 states that experienced the warmest spring on record.

In fact, the U.S. as a whole had its warmest spring on record.

That probably played a significant role in why water usage in Yankton is higher this year than last year, according to the city finance office.

Sales through May are up 10.4 percent compared to the same time period in 2011.

In May alone, the volume of water sold was 58,696,000 gallons. That is a 40.7 percent increase compared to May 2011, when 41,695,000 gallons were sold.

According to the city water department, its plant has experienced a peak day of 5 million gallons used this year.

That has put more stress on the city water supply than it normally would, because the intake pipe that draws water from the Missouri River has been hampered by a sandbar. An effort is under way to put a 90-degree elbow on the intake to place it above the sand.

Complicating matters further was a radio frequency issue with one of the ground wells in Nebraska that affected production.

Luckily, the city water department has been able to keep up with demand so far despite the challenges. Hopefully, the department’s luck holds out the rest of the summer (or, depending on your perspective, the bad run of luck goes away).

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