RYE, N.Y. -- Suez officials in Westchester told its customers in Rye, Rye Brook and Port Chester on Friday to stop using water outdoors due to a worsening drought.
SUEZ Westchester working in cooperation with town and city officials in Rye, Rye Brook and Port Chester, as well as the Westchester County Department of Health, is requiring all customers to immediately cease all outdoor watering. This includes using irrigation systems, sprinklers, and soaker hoses. Customers can continue watering activities using a hand-held hose for the time being.
Chris Graziano, vice president and general manager, noted that SUEZ purchases water for customers in its Rate District 2 water system that serves part of the Sound Shore from Aquarion Water Co. On Friday, Aquarion implemented a mandatory ban for customers it serves in four Connecticut communities which use the same water supply.
Aquarion noted that Connecticut’s drought level has recently been upgraded to a “severe drought” for most of the state due to an extended dry spell, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). With below average rainfall and extremely high water demand, water levels in Aquarion’s reservoirs are continuing to decline, and are in a critical state.
Aquarion also stated that in the last six months, their reservoirs have received six inches less rainfall than normal. The Greenwich reservoirs are currently at one-third of their capacity which is normally 70 percent this time of year. Aquarion further noted that their Putnam Reservoir is the primary source of supply for Greenwich and the Westchester County communities of Rye, Rye Brook and Port Chester served by SUEZ. The Putnam Reservoir is at about 25 percent of its capacity and has been dropping at a rate of 6 percent per week, officials said on Friday.
“Conservation is essential to ensure that we have an adequate water supply for everyday use and fire protection,” Graziano said in a press statement.
Friday's order follows a request earlier this week, as reported here by Daily Voice , for customers to voluntarily reduce water consumption -- particularly outdoor watering.
Graziano noted that customers in the Rate District 1 water system receive their water from the New York City Water System which has a sufficient supply of water. Customers in Bronxville, Tuckahoe, North Pelham, Pelham Manor, Ardsley, Hastings-on-Hudson and Dobbs Ferry are not directly impacted by this request. However, SUEZ is reminding them to use water wisely.
SUEZ serves about 146,000 people in Rate District 1 and 54,000 people in Rate District 2, its Sound Shore customers.
Some tips for conservation include these:
- Use a broom, not a hose, to clear debris from sidewalks.
- Set your lawn mower one notch higher. Longer grass allows less evaporation.
- Cover your pool to reduce evaporation.
- Wash your car with soap and water from a bucket.
For more conservation tips, visit mysuezwater.com .