Jul 28, 2014
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Greenwich Water Supplies Dwindling

Dry conditions prompt water conservation call.

Greenwich Water Supplies Dwindling

Town officials are warning Greenwich residents that reservoir water levels are dropping and are urging residents to "voluntarily conserve.''

At the April 19 Board of Selectmen's meeting, First Selectman Peter Tesei said, "We are closely monitoring the water suply due to the lack of snow and rainfall and the potential for fire hazard." According to Tesei, reservoir levels in town are decreasing "to just below 93.7 percent. Typically, reservoir levels are at 98 to 100 percent."

He added, "This more acutely affects people on wells that are not recharging from snow or rainfall. We are asking residents to voluntarily conserve."

Tesei highlighted some of the water conservation practices to using compost or mutch to cover gardens.

Tesei said, stream flows are at near record lows and groundwater levels are falling at a time of year when they should be rising. “At this time, public water supplies are adequate but we want to make sure that residents, especially those on private wells, are aware of the dry weather conditions” states First Selectman Peter Tesei.

Fire Chief Peter Siecienski noted that the forest fire danger in Connecticut is rated high. “Remember that dry vegetation should be cleared at least 30 feet from homes and out buildings,” he advises. “Dispose of hot charcoal and ash carefully and store firewood and kindling outside your cleared area.”

“In Greenwich, we have residents served by both public water and private wells,” reminds Denise Savageau, Conservation Director. “Our water supply team keeps an eye on both sources. Additionally, we monitor fire ponds and stream flow. Water is not just for drinking, it is about fire protection and fisheries habitat as well.”

Savageau heads up the Greenwich Water Supply Team that includes  Siecienski, Director of Health Caroline Baisley, Emergency Management Director Dan Warzoha, and the First Selectman. According to Savageau, a good soaking rain will help to alleviate the current fire danger and also improve stream flow. Groundwater recharge, however, generally takes place during the winter so this is something the Town will be watching very closely throughout the summer season.

Water conservation is something that residents are reminded to practice every day. “Outdoor water use is one way to really cut down on usage as we head into the summer season. This is extremely important especially in the backcountry where irrigation may affect private wells and fire ponds.” said Savageau.

"It's a rather dire issue as time goes on," Tesei said.

Here is a suggested list of water conversation of water plans as proposed by the Greenwich Water Supply Team that includes Fire Chief Peter Siecienski, Director of Health Caroline Baisley, Emergency Management Director Dan Warzoha, and Tesei,

Do add compost to your soil and use mulch in your garden to hold in moisture.

2. Do water gardens only when needed and use drip irrigation.

3. Do water lawns only when needed. One inch of water per week is enough. Use a coffee can to monitor amounts. Remember, cool season grasses go dormant in warm weather. Brown grass is not dead, just dormant. It will green up as soon as temperatures cool.

4. Do make sure that you know how to manually control your irrigation system.

5. Don’t water your lawn for a week after an inch of rain.

6. Do make sure you are watering the lawn and not the sidewalk or street.

7. Do water in the early morning or early evening to avoid evaporation.

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