Residents urged to limit irrigation during these periods of high heat and low precipitation
The Long Island Water Conference (LIWC), an organization made up of more than fifty water providers in the region, is calling on residents to increase water conservation tactics with regards to their lawns and observe their water supplier’s odd/even watering ordinances. Long Island is in the midst of an inordinately hot and dry stretch of weather that looks to continue, and while there is not a drought present, water systems across the region are struggling to meet peak demand. They facing the possibility of reduced pressure due to a 400 percent increase in demand, mostly created by consistent use of irrigation systems that can be curbed with an adherence to shortened irrigation cycles. Therefore, residents are advised to abide by local irrigation ordinances, including running systems between 5:00 p.m. and 12:00 a.m. to avoid peak demand times.
“We urge residents to reduce water usage to ensure the ability of Long Island water suppliers to meet the needs of Long Islanders and maintain high-pressure water for fire protection and other essential services,” said LIWC Chairman Kevin Durk. “This can be accomplished through residents shortening their irrigation cycles by several minutes, offsetting the increased demand and conserving a significant amount of water. This seemingly small change manufactures a monumental impact that will allow Long Island to handle the current stretch of weather.”
Although there is no shortage of water present in Long Island’s bountiful aquifer, there are a limited number of supply wells throughout Long Island to draw the water from the ground. Long Island’s water infrastructure is vast; however, it struggles to keep up with the fourfold increase in demand for water in these weather conditions while also keeping storage tanks full. In addition to providing the water needs for Long Island residents, keeping storage tanks full is crucial to ensuring there is adequate supply and pressure when firefighters have to respond to an emergency.
Water conservation also keeps lawns healthier, for they are incredibly resilient and only require an inch of water per week to remain healthy. Overwatering promotes shallow root development, which makes lawns more susceptible to burning and drought. To avoid your lawn burning, maintain shortened irrigation cycles and keep the cut length of the lawn high at approximately three inches.
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.
• 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.
About the Long Island Water Conference:
The LIWC has been committed to providing pure and plentiful water for the Long Island community since 1951. The LIWC aims to provide and maintain an adequate and safe water supply today, while anticipating the water concerns of future generations. LIWC members provide more than 375 million gallons of clean water daily. For more information, visit www.liwc.org.
—Submitted by the Long Island Water Conference