Cameron imposes water restrictions to help with low levels - KCTV5

Cameron imposes water restrictions to help with extremely low levels

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CAMERON, MO (KCTV) -

Low water levels continue to be a problem for residents in Cameron, MO, and things have gotten so bad, officials have had to issue an alert, prohibiting some water usages.

Water is something that Cameron car wash owner John Davis desperately needs to keep his business spraying. But if water levels don't rise, Davis said he might get shut off.

It's the same story across town at The Plant Place Greenhouse. While business is booming this week with Valentine's Day, employees said they could really suffer in the spring without water.

Despite the looming fears, owner Jan Thompson remains optimistic.

"We've been through this before the past 30-some years," she said. "We've been through this a couple of times, so we're believing that we're going to have rain in the next few months."

"We are totally dependent on rainfall," Cameron Water Plant Superintendent Paul Rinehart said.

The problem centers on the fact that Cameron relies on two area reservoirs that are extremely low. One pump has four intake valves that are 18 inches apart. Two of the valves are already exposed.

The city issued a water alert earlier this week, meaning there can be no nonessential watering. An emergency alert could be issued within a month and that could shut down some businesses.

The city is looking at other options, like pumping water from another lake 10 miles away. But that's a short-term solution because they could only pump that water for 180 days.

The entire area has been under a severe drought dating back to June, and business owners and residents hope it starts raining soon.

"I feel like the city is doing their best to alert people and hopefully I'm just believing that people are doing their best to conserve," Thompson said.

People in Cameron said the ultimate long-term goal would be getting a water pipeline from Kansas City or St. Joseph, MO.

The city had nearly the same problem in 2003, but then it rained.

There is a meeting to talk about a new potential water line on Thursday at 2 p.m. at Cameron's City Hall. It's open to the public for those wanting to know more.

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