By David Hartman
EL RENO, Okla., Nov. 06, 2000 (www.oklahoman.com)— El Reno residents no longer have to worry about receiving a citation for watering their lawns.
City Manager Orvel Gibson lifted the city's mandatory water rationing restriction Friday. The rationing order was to have expired today if it hadn't been lifted early.
Recent frequent rains have made the restriction against outdoor a moot issue, but the Gibson kept the water rationing restrictions in place anyway until after work crews shut down the city's water treatment plant to connect some new pipes from raw water sources into the treatment plant.
That work was supposed to be completed weeks ago, but was postponed until Oct. 31 because of the rain.
With that work completed, the water treatment plant is back in operation.
When that project was completed, Gibson told the police department not to issue any further rationing violation citations.
El Reno was one of the last area cities to have outdoor watering restrictions still in effect. Connecting the water lines to the treatment plant is part of a $4.6 million expansion project for the water plant, which will be completed next year.
El Reno's existing capacity to treat water is four million gallons per day, and the city treated water at capacity levels all summer, Gibson said.
The expansion to the water treatment plant will double the city's daily capacity to treat water. City officials hope that will mean an end to annual summer water rationing for years to come.
"We've gone as far as we can go with the old plant," said Public Works Director Don Goucher.
The old plant was built in 1933.
Though the expansion of the water treatment plant won't be completed at the beginning of next summer, Goucher said the plant should still be able to treat more water when dry weather begins.
The water treatment expansion project is funded by a low interest loan from the state. Water rates have been raised to pay the loan.
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