With little precipitation over the past several months and no rainfall predicted in the near future, the region is experiencing abnormally dry weather conditions. This is resulting in low stream flows and low groundwater conditions throughout Connecticut. Greenwich’s water supply team is monitoring the situation daily and working closely with the water company, State of Connecticut and federal resource agencies.
“Aquarion has asked all of its customers to voluntarily reduce their water usage and we want to make sure that our residents on private wells understand that they also should be conserving water,” said First Selectman Peter Tesei in a statement.
“In Greenwich we have residents served by both public water and private wells,” said Denise Savageau, Conservation Director. “Our water supply team keeps an eye on both sources and current conditions are showing that are both being impacted. Additionally, we monitor fire ponds and stream flow. Water is not just for drinking, it is about fire protection and fisheries habitat as well.”
Peter Siecienski, Fire Chief noted that the forest fire danger in Connecticut is rated moderate but that we are now going into the fall leaf season. “Remember that dry vegetation should be cleared at least 30 feet from homes and out buildings,” he advised, adding, “Be sure to dispose of hot charcoal and ash carefully and store firewood and kindling outside your cleared area.”
Savageau heads up the Greenwich Water Supply Team that includes Fire Chief Peter 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 any fire danger and also improve stream flow. Groundwater recharge, however, will take longer to rebound so this is something the Town will be watching very closely throughout the coming months.
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 cooler weather, residents should be able to reduce outdoor water usage. This is extremely important especially in the back country where irrigation may affect private wells and fire ponds,” said Savageau. “Aquarion has suggested turning off irrigation for the season and we agree with this recommendation.”
The following tips are offered to help reduce outdoor water use:
1. Consider suspending your water irrigation for the season
2. Do add compost to your soil and use mulch in your garden to hold in moisture.
3. Do water gardens only when needed and use drip irrigation.
4. Do water lawns only when needed. One inch of water per week is enough, in the fall even less is needed.
5. Do make sure that you know how to manually control your irrigation system.
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.
8. Do plan ahead. A garden and yard designed for water conservation will be a benefit to you and your community.
Contacts: Town of Greenwich Water Supply Team
Denise Savageau, Conservation Director – 622-6461 – lead contact
Peter Tesei, First Selectman – 622-7710
Caroline Baisley, Director of Health – 622-7836
Daniel Warzoha, Emergency Management Director – 622-2222
Peter Siecienski, Fire Chief – 622-3951