In the Thursday, August 3rd water board meeting, the Osceola Water Works board passed resolution 2023-20 authorizing the implementation of Section 2 of the Water Conservation Ordinance. Due to an exceedingly dry Spring and continued dryer than normal Summer, the water levels at West Lake have seen little to no improvement over drought conditions from 2022. Even with recent rains, the lake levels remain more than 4 feet below drought stage.

osceola drought conditions august 3 2023

Latest reports show Clarke County in Moderate to Severe Drought conditions.

“We’ve really wanted to avoid this,” said Brandon Patterson, Water Works Superintendent. “But with the entire state under drought conditions, and our lake levels diminishing, we need to be proactive on our water conservation measures to mitigate any future issues.”

Below is a summary of the Water Conservation Section 2 ordinance:

Section 2: Water Warning – Restrictions

A Water Warning may be declared when the water level in West Lake reaches an elevation 1069.0 feet above Mean Sea Level (3-feet below normal pool elevation of 1072.0 MSL). Under these conditions, no user shall use municipal water service in any manner contrary to the following:

A.      Outdoor watering and irrigation is prohibited, except as follows.
B.      Watering or irrigation of flower and vegetable gardens, trees and shrubs less than 4-years old, and new seeding or sod is permitted once a week with an application not to exceed 1-inch. Watering shall only be done between the hours of 8:00 P.M. to 8:00 A.M.
C.      Car washing is prohibited, except at commercial establishments that provide that service.
D.      No water shall be used to fill private swimming pools, children’s wading pools, reflecting pools or any other outdoor pool or pond.
E.      No water shall be used to wash streets, parking lots, driveways, sidewalks or building exteriors.
F.      No water shall be used for nonessential cleaning of commercial and industrial equipment, machinery, and interior spaces.
G.      Water shall be served at restaurants only upon request of the customer.
H.      Southern Iowa Rural Water Association (SIRWA) is requested to switch to as much of their system serviced by Osceola to be supplied by another source where possible when the water level in West Lake reaches an elevation of 1069 feet above Mean Sea Level (3-feet below normal pool elevation of 1072.0 MSL.)

osceola water conservation resolution

Click the image to open/view/print the resolution.

The following penalties shall apply for violations of Water Warning use restrictions imposed under this Ordinance.

A.      First Violation: For a first violation, the Water Board shall issue a written notice of violation to the water user violating the water use restrictions imposed.
B.      Second Violation: For a second violation, a $65 surcharge shall be imposed.
C.      Subsequent Violations: For any subsequent violations, a $130 surcharge shall be imposed.

This water conservation ordinance will remain in effect until further notice.

A full PDF of the official resolution can be viewed and downloaded by clicking the image/link to the right.

If you have questions or would like more information on the Osceola Water Works Conservation Plan or services provided through Osceola Water Works, please contact Brandon Patterson, Water Superintendent at the Osceola Water Works, 208 W Jefferson St, Osceola, IA 50213, phone: (641) 342-1435, email: