Article courtesy of Quoron Walker | September 18, 2014 | Courant.com | Shared as educational material.
The Manchester Water and Sewer Department has issued a water conservation alert.Residents are asked to conserve water and limit the water usage. The alert was first issued the week of September 8. The Manchester water supply is currently below 80 percent.
“The reason for the drop is because the rainfall for the months of June, July, and August was behind 31 percent of the usual rainfall for that time of year,” said Pat Kearney, administrator for the Manchester Water and Sewer Department. “It was very dry this summer.”
Kearney added that it is late in the year for the water levels to be lowered, but that it is good thing.
“If this were to happen in July or August, it would be more of a reason to worry,” said Kearney. “Hopefully more rain comes soon, but the weather report keeps changing.”
It’s been several years since the water supply had a significant drop, said Kearney. “I don’t believe we’ve had one for a while,” he said. “We want to get people to be aware the water level is below where it should be and to hope that the alerts are taken seriously.”
The fact that the weather has become cooler makes the alert less severe. Most people by now have stopped outdoor water activities such washing cars and filling outdoor pools.
“I kind of panicked when I heard the reservoir was getting low,” said Manchester resident Amy Gardner. “But I try to conserve anyway to help the environment, so I don’t mind paying closer attention to when I use the water.”
Kearney doesn’t want to cause anxiety among residents and said that right now conserving water is “a suggestion by the department, but will become mandatory if the reservoir levels continue to drop.”
Manchester resident Damian Ortiz also had concerns about the alert. “I didn’t think that could happen around here because it’s not like dry like a desert here,” said Ortiz. “I think the main thing is just having water to drink and to cook with. You don’t realize how important it is until it’s gone.”
Some residents only think of the water supply for household needs such as washing dishes and bathing. But there are other, more important uses.
“Yes, we provide drinking water for the public, but we also provide water for fire protection,” said Kearney. He added that less water in the supply would limit resources that could potentially save lives.
The Water and Sewer Department’s website offers many simple water saving tips that can apply to all residents. One change is to find another use for the water that would normally be poured down the drain – such as watering plants.
Another tip is too thaw frozen foods in the refrigerator overnight rather than using water to unfreeze. Also, when watering the lawn, water during the morning or after the sun sets to avoid significant evaporation. Up to 30 percent of water can be evaporated if lawns are watered during the afternoon and peak hours of sunshine. At this time it’s best to only water occasionally, if you must at all.
Also, taking shorter showers and using a dishpan to wash dishes can save water.
To learn more about the water conservation alert and ways to use less water, visit http://www.townofmanchester.org/water.