Residents in Bethany are on strict water restrictions as city leaders work to find a solution to what they call a water crisis at an emergency city council meeting Monday evening.

Last Thursday, Mayor K.P. Westmoreland took to Facebook to announce state 4 water restrictions, meaning no lawn watering.

Before the Thursday announcement, the city hadn’t been under any water restrictions.

Currently, only half of the city’s wells are online after the city says industrial contaminates began seeping into the water supply more than 10 years ago.

“At this time of year, we just cannot keep up with the demand,” Westmoreland said.

Westmoreland said water from the pumps online is safe to drink, but there is just not enough of it.

“We have to have enough of it in case a fire breaks out, emergencies, it’s a safety and health issue,” he said.

But the mayor stressed the city hasn’t just been setting on its hands. He says they’ve tried to find locations for other wells.

“Our city engineer, and others have been looking at locations that we could possibly drill new wells, but when we test a certain area for that, it will come back with more contaminants,” Westmoreland said.

The mayor said the city must find a short-term fix, like continuing water rations and buying water from Oklahoma City, but he hopes Monday’s public meeting also lays the groundwork for a long-term solution.

“We don’t want to have to continue to do this year after year, after year. We are going to present all of the numbers and facts to council and start to lay the discussion to ‘where do we need to get to and how are we going to get there?’” Westmoreland said.