Despite all of Missouri being in some stage of a drought from moderate to extreme, and many daily temperatures breaking 100 degrees, the local water supply is “holding its own,” according to Bob Hathcock, local manager of the Public Water Supply Districts No. 1 and 3 in Franklin County.

“So far, we have not had any issues keeping up,” he said. “Our well supply is holding its own. We’re not anticipating rationing water in the near future.”

Hathcock said that the district is not having any problems keeping up with customer demands, but added that if the heat continues water rationing is a possibility.

“We monitor the wells every day,” he said. “We can make those decisions based on the information we receive.”

Public Water Supply District No. 1 covers the area between Washington and Union in the Highway A and Highway 47 corridor. District No. 3 covers the area east of Washington.

Other Problems

Though water supply isn’t an issue, the dry ground is causing some problems for the district.

“The biggest issue we’re seeing now due to the drought is that the ground is so dry that it’s shifting and is causing water main breaks,” Hathcock said. “We are taking care of those as they arise.”

“Any time we have extreme weather conditions, be it extremely hot, extremely dry or rainy, it can cause a shift in the pipes and create main breaks or leaks,” said Gail Bader, office manager of District 3. “We are experiencing  more water main breaks and leaks than if conditions were normal.”

Alliance Water Resources has operated the water system since January 2005. Since Alliance has taken over, Hathcock said, there have not been any mandatory water rations.

There is another water district, District 4, that serves the Beaufort and Leslie areas.

Eileen Feth, secretary and treasurer of the District 4 board, said the water supply for those areas also is in good shape and no rationing is expected at this time.