Water Systems Feeling the Pinch

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FLORENCE, Ala (WHNT) - The extreme heat is causing drought conditions across the valley, in turn forcing smaller water authorities to ask customers to conserve water.

But how are the larger municipalities handling the increased demand for water?

"We're not encountering any major difficulties. The demand is high, but we were prepared for that. Normally during this time of the year, the demand is high," says Phil Stevenson, a City of Florence Spokesman.

But it's been a while since demand has reached these levels on the Florence water system.

On a normal day, without drought like conditions, the system will produce thirteen to fourteen million gallons of water.

According to Stevenson, “Right now, we are producing about 18-million gallons per day of potable water to go out into the system."

That's seventy-five percent of their maximum output of clean drinking water each day.

Between the water plant on Cypress Creek, and the one drawing water from the Tennessee River, the city of Florence can produce just over twenty-four million gallons daily.

"The one thing we are watching is the Cypress Creek plant and the creek level. If we don't get some rain in the relative future, then we might have to put out some advisories to conserve water."

Water department officials say the water level of Cypress Creek is dropping at a rate of two inches per day.

They have had to start closing the pass through at the low head dam on Cypress, to try and maintain a high enough level to pull water from.

Florence leaders say, right now they are holding their own, but if water levels continue to drop, they will be forced to put out a water conservation notice to residents.

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