The ongoing drought led the Fairmont City Council on Monday to vote to ban non-essential water use, effective immediately. The DNR requested the water restrictions due to how low the Blue Earth River watershed level has become. The water restrictions are citywide in Fairmont, and will be in place until further notice. Residents will be given one warning if they are caught using water in a non-essential function, such as watering lawns and washing vehicles. After that first warning, a violation of the water restrictions will be a petty misdemeanor, with the first fine being $50 and any additional violations going up to $100. Residents with newly planted trees or new sod were granted an exception to the restrictions, although they can only water overnight. The ban does not apply to commercial car wash facilities.