The city is rationing water immediately due to the failure of one of the main wells supplying culinary water to the city.

A city spokesman said well experts will be in the city Thursday to evaluate the problem and to determine what caused the failure. Officials believe the problem is due to a blockage and not a complete drying out of the well.The City Council is scheduled to adopt an ordinance at Thursday's meeting establishing the water rationing guidelines and enforcement procedures.

Because of the continuing hot and dry weather, city residents are asked to cease indiscriminate use of culinary water for outside watering and to follow a watering plan under which odd-numbered houses and business will water on Mondays and Wednesdays and even-numbered lots on Tuesdays and Thursdays. No outside watering will be permitted on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

The problem well provides a major portion of the city's culinary water. The city also receives water from the Weber Basin Water Conservancy District. On occasion, the district has made emergency allocations to cities to aid in the resolution of water problems.

Ivan Flint, Weber Basin district manager, said the city has been in contact with Weber Basin and the district has agreed to step up pressure through a series of valve adjustments. The district will also bring one of its dormant wells into operation to provide backup for the city. He said Layton will be given the option to lease the water used on a one-year contract or to make a permanent contract later this fall when the city has more time to evaluate the situation.

Layton currently contracts for about 3,700 acre feet of water annually from the district. "They're a pretty good customer for us," Flint said. "We're going to try to help them any way we can."

Flint said Weber Basin will not be able to completely offset the loss of the city well because of its location and placement within the city system. He said by increasing line pressures and making valve adjustments officials hope to maintain an adequate service level to city residents.

The council is expected to have more information concerning the extent of the problem and the time factor at its council meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. at the city hall.