Drought impacting Bismarck lawns

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If you’re noticing a higher water bill this year to keep your grass green, you’re not alone.

The state’s drought has left some property owners keeping their sprinklers on more than in past years. But with that extra water use comes a price.

The city of Bismarck instituted a tiered water utility rate in 2019, making higher water users pay higher rates.

Lawn care companies are feeling those costs more than most.

That includes Lawntech Outdoor Services Owner Howard Rieger, who’s been in the business 24 years.

“Our city, our beautiful city of Bismarck, North Dakota is brown. A lot of people have just given up watering, or they’re protesting, they refuse to water because of the high watering rates. So in order to get that back to where the city used to be, have a nice green city, a beautiful city where people take care of our lawns, they’re going to have to give us some sort of a break, at least in June, July and August,” Rieger said.

Rieger says most lawns in the Bismarck-Mandan area are bluegrass, which requires an inch and a half of water a week, or using the sprinkler three times a week.

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