Fourth of July skies will not sparkle in Mapleton.
The city's only working well stopped working June 21. Part of the mechanism that brings water to the surface has broken. City officials have ordered culinary water rationing and a ban on outdoor fires and fireworks.Mapleton has rented use of another well, but the second well provides less than half the water residents are used to.
"Our regular well gives us 1,100 gallons per minute, and the Zion's Bank well gives 450 gallons," Mayor Everet Predmore said. "The water level in the rental well is getting lower. We are losing ground."
Predmore said there is enough water for people to drink, but residents may only use culinary water on their lawns every other day for two hours.
"People have lost their flower beds, and some of the lawns are turning pretty brown," Predmore said. "The northeast is the worst, because the water pressure is lowest."
He said the greatest danger is from fire damage.
"We are not allowing people to build fires outdoors or to set off fireworks."
Predmore said Mapleton does not have a fireworks display for the Fourth of July, and he is hoping youngsters will refrain from setting off firecrackers purchased at fireworks stands.
"What we would like the best would be if people would go away for the weekend so we could save some water," he said.
"If there were a fire this weekend, we would have to shut off all the water in town to get the water pressure needed to fight the fire."
Predmore said the regular well will be back on line by July 9, if all goes as planned "and crews can continue to work without sleep."
Mapleton has been constructing a second well, but it is not complete. Officials say it will be ready for use in about three weeks.
Meanwhile, the Mapleton police have been issuing citations to people who use extra water.
"We have given out 10 so far," said Bret Barney, police chief. "They could cost people between $300 and $1,000 each.
"We had one person leave the sprinklers on for six extra hours, but most of the tickets are just for an extra hour or half-hour. People say they couldn't get enough water pressure in their allotted time."
Barney said most residents have been very cooperative. He hopes they will keep it up through the weekend.
"The Fourth could be a little tricky. We are all praying for no fires. We are not there yet, but we are getting to the point where we would not have enough water pressure to fight a fire."
Barney said Mapleton has a two-man police force, with two others on reserve. The volunteer fire department has 30 firefighters.
Mapleton resident Dixie Welch said the rationing has not effected her life very much.
"Our lawn had some problems, so we put in some sod before we had a wedding here. It's all dead now, but it looked nice for the wedding, so we don't really mind."
Welch said a newly planted lawn on her street is dead too, but most older lawns look pretty good.
"Besides, we're going to see the fireworks in Provo. It's a better show than anything in Mapleton anyway."