Lawn irrigation and swimming pools this week helped push Wichita's water use to its highest point so far this year.
Wichita, which averages about 57 million gallons per day throughout the year, pumped out 107 million gallons Monday.
That's shy of the 140 million gallons a day the city's treatment plant and distribution system can handle. It's also below the city's all-time high of 124 million gallons in a day set about 15 years ago.
But it's enough strain on the system to burst open aging water lines and keep repair crews running on overtime.
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Last weekend, the city spent about $20,000 repairing leaks and line breaks. That includes all costs except the expense of repaving where repair crews dug.
Weather forecasts indicate more of the same this weekend.
"While we can meet the current high demand, I do not want anyone to think it is easy or normal," Joe Pajor, the city's co-interim director of public works and utilities, wrote in an e-mail. "It is neither."
It takes a staff of 165 people to pump, treat and distribute all that water to the city's 356,000 customers, he said.
"When the systems are running this close to their capacities, it takes even greater care in the operation of all of these systems and processes to make sure that everything continues to work as designed," Pajor said.