Sartell, Minn. bans non-essential water use as drought worsens

The City of Sartell, Minnesota is taking major actions on Thursday to curb non-essential water use as the drought in Minnesota moves to new levels.

The city says the new drought data released on Thursday puts the city into the "extreme drought" restrictive phase of the state's drought plan. As such, the city is now banning the use of water for non-essential tasks, like sprinkling lawns, power washing buildings, car washes, and swimming pool filling.

At the same time, the city will shut down the splash pad at Watab Park. The wading pool, however, will remain open.

Hand watering flowers, gardens, and lawn spots will still be allowed. The ban doesn't cover homes that use sandpoint systems, ponds, wells, or other non-city water supply sources. However, the city encourages those residents to abide by the rules.

"When property owners abide by the ban, we are all doing our part to help protect the community for fire safety, drinking water, and our environment," write city officials.

Residents and businesses can apply for water exemptions for newly seeded or sodded lawns at City Hall. Residents who don't abide by the ban face a $100 fine that increases by $100 for each violation.