Dry spell not having a significant impact in La Grange area
Quinn Murphy of La Grange, a seasonal employee in the La Grange Public Works Department, gives a good soaking to the flowers at the Stone Avenue train station June 15 in anticipation of more hot weekend weather and an uncertain rain forecast. | Jane Michaels~Sun-Times Media
Updated: August 20, 2012 1:55AM
Normal sprinkling restrictions are in effect in La Grange and LaGrange Park, and so far, no additional measures are necessary, officials report.
“Our system has sufficient capacity to provide for the water needs of our residents,” said Public Works Director Ryan Gillingham
“If we did get into a situation when the amount of water pumping out exceeds the capacity to provide, we would have to consider other measures, but I don’t anticipate that happening,” Gillingham said.
The village allows residents to water lawns by day. Even-numbered addresses may water on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, while odd-numbered addresses may sprinkle on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Unlike in past years, there are no restrictions on the hours. No watering is permitted on Monday.
Optional water conservation measures residents could consider include watering gardens early in the morning to lessen the evaporation rate, and several common-sense home practices such as making .sure toilets don’t leak, choosing water-efficient toilets, washing machines and dishwashers and installing low-flow shower heads.
“Being conscientious is important, but we’re not asking residents to change any practices,” Gillingham said.
In LaGrange Park, odd and even-day restrictions for sprinkling lawns or washing cars apply from May 15 through Sept. 15, though no hours are specified.
“Even with this dry spell, the amount of usage vs. the capacity we have, we’re in fine shape,” said Public Works Director Brendan McLaughlin.
“There’s no need for folks to act any differently,” McLaughlin said. “We always like people to conserve with their overall use, but there’s nothing special they should do.”
Executive Director Dean Bissias said the Park District of La Grange hasn’t been significantly impacted by the lack of rain.
“The only effect the weather is having is we’re doing a lot more watering of flowers,” Bissias said. “The grass goes dormant.
“We’ll probably water the baseball fields prior to a tournament starting later to soften the ground up,” he said. “Other than that, it’s pretty much normal operations.”
La Grange Fire Chief Bill Bryzgalski said even an inch of rain could lessen the effects of the dry spell.
“A couple of nice rains would be good to soften the ground up,” Bryzgalski said. “If it’s too hard and fast, that just creates flooding, and we don’t need that.”
Lack of rain at this point isn’t likely to impact two local fireworks displays, the chief said. The La Grange County Club, 620 S. Brainard Ave., hosts a fireworks display at dusk July 3, and the Park District of La Grange sponsors fireworks July 20 for Family Fest at Gordon Park, La Grange Road and Ogden Avenue.
Although La Grange doesn’t technically oversee fire protection for the country club, which is in an unincorporated area, Bryzgalski said restrictions are unlikely because the golf course regularly waters fairways and greens, and the rough grass is longer to retain moisture. The golf course is under the jurisdiction of the Pleasantview Fire Protection District.
Bissias said if the weather is extremely dry before Family Fest, the park district would water Gordon Park a few days beforehand.
“I could hook up an irrigation hose with 250 feet of hose to get the ground wet if we have a dry spell,” he said.
Bryzgalski said fireworks displays are subject to the department monitoring wind speed and direction, which would affect fall-out debris landing on spectators.