WaterOne asks for help combating mysterious group watering pattern

It’s Monday, but that doesn’t mean you have to water the grass today. And that has nothing to do with the weekend rain or the forecast.

WaterOne can prove that we like to water on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. They would like to see that spread out a little bit. WaterOne’s suggestion is to divide up by house number: Even house numbers water on Monday, Wednesday and Friday; odd house numbers water on Tuesday, Thursday and the weekend.

Capacity isn’t the issue. WaterOne has access to plenty of water — even in the drought periods the utility has been able to meet demand. And the utility’s Smart Watering program is just a suggestion, not any kind of mandate. Customers are still free to water as they wish. But utility official say it would help if water use was a bit more even, allowing better pressure for everyone and lower electric costs, plus longer life for the system.

The issue is that in the summer we follow a mysterious pattern that we all like to water on the same days. That creates spikes in demand that Mandy Cawby at WaterOne compares to gunning your car engine. “It means more wear and tear on our distribution pipes, peak electric use for our operations, and affects overall system pressure.”

The WaterOne engineers brought up the trend about a year ago after watching the usage data and the Smart Watering concept emerged. The League of Women Voters of Johnson County has been helping get the word out for the utility.

WaterOne draws its water from the Kansas River, Missouri River and a well system. These have been good sources, meaning no rationing even during the drought, so there is enough water to go around for Johnson County customers. But let’s not all be out there Monday, Wednesday and Friday. And what is that pattern about, anyway?