By Jeff Wagner

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The drought has forced several Minnesota towns to impose some form of watering restrictions. But one in particular has been locked into a full-on ban for weeks.

Minnetrista homeowners haven’t been able to water their lawns since June 24, and that’s after going through another watering ban in the first part of that month.

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Dreams of a golf-green worthy lawn have dried up. Some recently planted trees are showing fall colors in mid-July, as the leaves curl up and turn to a sad orange and brown.

The drought, plus a watering ban spanning three weeks, has made it a tough go for homeowners like Tom Prezioso. He and others are allowed to water plants by hand, but even that feels futile.

“We’ve predominantly just said, ‘Let’s forget it for now,’” he said.

(credit: CBS)

That approach, while disheartening, is helping get the city’s water towers to healthy level once again, said Allie Polsfuss, Minnetrista’s director of administration.
“It’s extremely frustrating for residents, but we’re kind of all in this together and we really do appreciate everybody’s cooperation,” Polsfuss said. “It’s working.”

The water towers are considered full at 38 feet. Thursday, Polsfuss said they were at about 30-35 feet. An adequate height during the summer time is between 22-23 feet, even with people watering lawns. It might lead some to wonder why the city hasn’t lifted the watering ban. Well, they tried that once.

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“We saw [the water level] drop about, you know, 15 feet within 12 hours,” Polsfuss said.

The second and current watering ban was then reinstated.

“Because not only now are we concerned about, you know, fire protection, we’re getting concerned about a drinking water advisory,” she said.

And with the summer only expecting to get more dry due to an incoming heat wave, Prezioso is happy to prioritize public safety over personal preference.

“And I love my yard being green. I’m looking at this and I’m ultimately saying, [firefighters are] the ones that are more important,” Prezioso said.

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The Minnetrista City Council will re-evaluate the watering ban next Monday.

Jeff Wagner