Why does Vadnais Heights use so much water? ‘Girls,’ official says

The girls of Vadnais Heights are wasting water according to the experts who know their water.

Vadnais Heights is one of 10 northeast metro communities under a court order to reduce water usage, but it has the highest per capita use, 83 gallons per person. That’s 11 gallons per person more than the second-biggest user of water (Stillwater).

The court order is designed to stem the falling water level of White Bear Lake, as communities pump out more water from the aquifer that supports it.

Who’s to blame for the wastefulness?

It’s hard to say. And when it’s hard to say, you don’t want to guess.

The Vadnais Heights Press suggests a city official guessed.

City Engineer Mark Graham said he is not sure why the city’s water use is so high; his best guess is perhaps the city has more girls who take long showers. Water meters don’t differentiate between types of use, he noted.

The second amendment to the permit prohibits residential irrigation when the level of White Bear Lake is below 924 feet.

Graham said he doesn’t know how many homes in Vadnais Heights have auto irrigation systems and whether or not the irrigation ban would get the city down to 75 gallons per person per day. “It’s hard to say,” he noted. The 83 gallons is an average, year-round number. The city already has an odd/even days residential irrigation ban.

There’s been a proposal to run a pipeline from Vadnais Lake to White Bear, using the Mississippi River to recharge Vadnais Lake from the chain of lakes.

“The more we think about this, I think we should just send a bunch of river water to these rich people on White Bear Lake and say ‘Here, there is your water you want, right straight out of the Mississippi River,’” Councilman Greg Urban said.