MINNETRISTA, Minn. (WCCO)This unusually hot weather is creating a large increase in demand for water. The city of Minnetrista has declared a water emergency.

The ban, which went into effect Tuesday, encourages residents to be more efficient using water inside, and an outdoor water ban means no watering lawns, washing vehicles or filling pools. The city water tower is low and water needs to be reserved for potential fires.

Resident Jessica Weinberg said she had to scramble to protect her plants.

“Basically move them into the shade. That’s basically all we can do,” Weinberg said. “We can’t water anything, we can’t run the sprinklers, and basically sprinklers are set up to water everything, except for the pots. So, basically do nothing but move them to the shade and keep them cool.”

This scorching heat is scorching lawns, especially when sprinklers are unable to be used.

“We may have nothing left [laughs]! We might just have to woodchip everything, be like Arizona [laughs]!” Weinberg said. “Just rocks and fake flowers.”

To help protect your yard in this heat, keep your grass longer. The taller grass protects the root, which prevents it from drying out and dying, said Steve King, the owner of Superior Outdoor Services in Minnetrista.

The water emergency forced King to delay appointments for about eight to 10 customers. He’s also had to delay landscaping appointments all over the west metro because of the heat.

“We’ve had to kind of jockey some jobs around, and not just planting trees, but you know, any shrubs or perennials,” King said. “When you try to plant them in the heat like this, it just stresses them so much.”

If you already have things planted, King suggests watering them two to three times a day, preferably water them at night, when the sun is down.

“When [the water] gets on the grass … it makes it shiny, and then that attracts, you know, the sun and it dries out faster,” King said.

Residents may notice some water discoloration. When the water tower level gets low, the incoming water stirs up the sediment from the bottom of the tank. The discoloration is mainly iron.

Sauk Rapids also issued a watering ban that starts Thursday at midnight, and will last until further notice. Wading pools and splash pads in the city will be closed, and only newly-planted grass can be watered.

Eden Prairie announced Wednesday that watering restriction are now in effect. Homeowners and business owners can only water their properties on even-numbered days if their addresses end in an even number, or odd days if it ends in an odd number. Lawn watering is prohibited between noon and 5 p.m. daily.

Marielle Mohs