PORT WASHINGTON, NY — With scant rainfall and scorching heat, parts of Long Island have declared a water emergency, and others have banned daytime lawn irrigation.
As TBEN’s Jennifer McLogan reports, local leaders are now asking residents to change their habits.
Jim and Joan Marrinan, from Port Washington, are going native. Deep-rooted native plants in their front yards mean goodbye sprinklers.
“I can’t stop climate change, but I may be able to stop wasting water,” Joan Marrinan said.
The Marrinans and some of their neighbors on Mill Pond Road turned lawns into sustainable gardens just in time for the heat wave and lack of rainfall.
“We have issued an initial water alert,” said Jeffrey Szabo, CEO of Suffolk County Water Authority.
The Suffolk Water Authority has declared a flood in Southampton Village, warning the entire county to turn off irrigation from 3-7am and only water every other day.
The fire service is concerned about the water pressure.
“We need to make sure we have protection, protection from fire, for the residents and for emergency services,” Szabo said.
The Long Island Water Conference, which represents 50 water suppliers, calls on residents to:
- Check systems for leaks,
- Install smart controllers,
- Cutting back on non-essential water use,
- Shorten showering, and
- Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth.
Nassau County has banned watering homes between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Odd street numbers of water on odd days and even numbers on even days.
“Conservation on Long Island is no longer a fun thing to do. It is imperative as we face threats from saltwater intrusion, emerging contaminants and climate change,” said Mindy Germain, Port Washington water commissioner.
While Long Island has an abundance of groundwater, the problem lies in the sheer number of wells and infrastructure needed to pump and treat water to meet drinking water standards.
“And when everything is at its peak and elevated storage tanks are being emptied, that’s a problem,” Szabo said.
Homeowners are being asked to shift usage times or even change their habits permanently.