Bethany rations water in year of record rain

BETHANY, Okla. - In a year of record rain and flooding across the state, the city of Bethany is asking residents to ration water.

Bethany has moved to stage 4 water rationing, which means no watering of lawns and hand watering of flower beds and plants only.

"It's frustrating for all of us, my wife and I don`t want to see plants die either," said Mayor KP Westmoreland.

The Bethany mayor says his city is facing an unusual water issue in a year of record precipitation.

"Even though we had a ton of rain and flooding and all that, we don`t get our water from runoff or lakes. Our wells drill down about 80-90 feet to pull that water out and we just can't keep up with it right now in this heat in the summertime," said Westmoreland.

The mayor says 50% of those wells are not in use right now.

The city is currently in litigation with Gulfstream and Rockwell International over claims of illegal dumping at Wiley Post Airport more than two years ago.

"Chemicals that they were dumping in the process got into our water tables and into our wells. We not going to send contaminants to our citizens. So we started shutting down wells that tested for these contaminants," said Westmoreland.

So working at half capacity, the system can't keep up with Bethany water demand.

"We're hoping that going to stage 4, we can fix this problem without having to turn the valves on to purchase Oklahoma City water," said Westmoreland. "We have a lot of citizens on fixed incomes and we don`t want to add that expense to their already high utility bills."

Click here for a complete list of all Bethany water regulations.

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