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City officials say water restrictions remain in place

Park Rapids' watering ban is over.

In its place, watering guidelines, or restrictions, remain in effect.

In hindsight, said Park Rapids city administrator Bill Smith, using the word "ban" just confused the populace.

City Hall has been besieged with calls seeking clarification on how the restrictions work, especially since the city has received ample rainfall lately.

"It will be in effect until we get more water which probably will be next year," said public works superintendent Scott Burlingame.

City residents may water their lawns Mondays and Thursdays for 20 minutes. But there are a few exceptions.

"If it's a newly sodded or seeded yard we're gonna excuse those so they don't lose their new stuff," Smith said. "But if it's established yard, the 20-minute rule would apply."

"It's 20 minutes per zone," Burlingame said of lawns with zoned sprinkler system. "Right now everything's working just fine. Mondays and Thursdays are working for us so we're able to maintain pressure so we're good."

The city enacted the restrictions a month ago when city wells couldn't keep up with demand.

"It seemed so straightforward but folks just are trying to read way too much into it," Smith said of the reaction the city received.

"Just water your lawns Mondays and Thursdays for 20 minutes. An irrigation system that's zoned, then run each zone 20 minutes and if you're chasing one sprinkler head around with a garden hose, just water each spot for about 20 minutes."

Smith is hoping the calls subside.

"People have just read so much into that," he reiterated "It's just puzzling to me. You know, communication is an art form.

"I tell you, this one just hasn't worked," he said of the conservation campaign the city mounted.

"Probably a ban was maybe a poor choice of word," Smith said. "Watering guidelines or something. We've learned a lesson on this one."

So, in keeping with that great Internet source Wikipedia, here is a list of Thesaurus entries you can use:

"A thou-shalt-not, boycott, censorship, don't, embargo, injunction, interdiction, limitation, no-no, off limits, out of bounds, prohibition, proscription, refusal, restriction, stoppage, suppression, taboo..."

A ban by any other name...

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.

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