The Long Island Water Conference (LIWC) is calling on residents to reduce water usage and observe their water supplier’s odd/even watering ordinances. Long Island is and continues to experience an inordinately dry stretch of weather that looks to continue for at least the next seven to ten days.
As a result of the mostly dry conditions over the last month, water systems across the region are facing the possibility of experiencing reduced pressure due to a 400 percent increase in demand, mostly created by consistent use of irrigation systems. Residents are advised to abide by local irrigation ordinances, including running systems between 5 p.m. and 12 a.m. to avoid peak demand times.
“We implore residents to reduce water usage to ensure Long Island water suppliers are able to maintain high-pressure water for fire protection and other essential services,” said LIWC Chairman Richard Passariello. “With most water use being attributed to irrigation systems, we urge all Long Islanders to shorten their irrigation cycles by several minutes to offset the significant increase in demand. This action alone will save a significant amount of water and allows Long Island’s water providers to continue working diligently to meet the water needs of residents.”
While there is no water shortage as Long Island’s aquifer is plentiful, there are a limited number of supply wells throughout Long Island to draw the water from the ground. Long Island’s water infrastructure, while vast, is struggling to keep up with the demand for water while also keeping storage tanks full. Keeping storage tanks full is crucial to ensure there is adequate supply and pressure when firefighters have to respond to an emergency.
Nassau County’s Lawn Watering Ordinance requires residences with a house number that is even—or is not numbered—to water their lawn on even-numbered days. Similarly, residences with a house number that is odd should water their lawn on odd-numbered days. In addition to adhering to all irrigation regulations in both Nassau and Suffolk counties, homeowners are urged to be conscious of water usage inside their homes. To help residents cut back on usage, the LIWC reminds the public of these water-saving tips:
- Reduce your irrigation system’s watering per zone by 5 minutes. This will save approximately 20 percent on your overall usage.
- Lawns only need an inch of water per week to remain healthy.
- Check your irrigation system for leaks and broken sprinkler heads. You could unknowingly be wasting thousands of gallons of water every month.
- Be sure to check for and repair any leaks throughout household plumbing – a leaky toilet (one that constantly runs) can waste more than 20,000 gallons of water a month.
- Consider replacing your standard irrigation with a smart irrigation controller. These new systems connect to local weather stations to more accurately predict the actual watering needs of lawns and gardens.