The City of Polson has declared a water emergency, prohibiting watering of lawns and the washing of cars.

KGVO spoke to City manager Ed Meece on Monday afternoon.

“The city of Polson draws our municipal water from seven sub ground aquifers,” said Meece. “Those aquifers and those wells have been under an extraordinary amount of demand in the last two to three weeks. We have actually been on an odd and even watering schedule for residential watering during that time however, this past weekend, several of our water tanks hit a critically low reserve and so we began a process of water restrictions on Saturday afternoon, prohibiting all lawn watering, vehicle washing and any other type of excess water usage.”

Meece said the situation became even more critical early Monday morning.

“This morning we found those tanks were even at farther, critically low stage and so we've actually shut off water to about five streets on the top of the hill here in Polson for the purpose of trying to refill that tank during the day, and that seems to be working at the moment,” he said.

Meece explained the layout of the municipal water system in Polson.

“We have our town in three different pressure zones,” he said. “Our lowest pressure zone is in good condition. Our middle zone at the moment continues to struggle as well. So we placed ourselves in a water emergency and we continue to work diligently to try and refill the reserve levels on those tanks in the upper and middle zones.”

Meece said the situation for municipal water in Polson is tenuous.

“We are monitoring these wells,” he said. “Hopefully we can get the reserves back up overnight, and then maintain them through the week if we can continue these watering and vehicle washing prohibitions. We've also made some ‘on the fly’ system modifications throughout the day and we're hoping that that will also address some of the field issues. At this time, it's really just too early for us to tell.”

Meece explained that the city cannot draw water from Flathead Lake, as it has not been properly treated for human consumption.

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