Yorktown Under Water Conservation Order

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Yorktown Supervisor Matt Slater

YORKTOWN, NY — July 6, 2021 – The Northern Westchester Joint Water Works (NWJWW) will implement a mandatory water conservation order for customers from July 12 through October 12.

Customers in the NWJWW’s service region must restrict their water consumption by observing an odd/even system for outdoor water use. Residents or businesses at even-number addresses may water lawns, shrubs, plants and gardens only on even-numbered days; residents or businesses at odd-numbered addresses may do so on odd-numbered days. Residents or businesses with addresses that are neither even nor odd must follow the schedule for even-numbered addresses.

The water restrictions are due to two converging factors that have contributed to capacity issues:

  1. Construction at the Amawalk Water Treatment Facility has reduced production capacity by 25% and it will not be restored until late October.
  2. A 40% increase in residential water consumption due to remote work and pandemic-related stay-at-home measures.

“We have concerns we may not be able to keep up with future demand projections,” said Matthew Geho-NWJWW Operations Director. “The goal is to reduce demand without disrupting daily life. These water restrictions will not impact indoor domestic water use.”

Other rules include a ban on filling swimming pools on weekends and water-hosing streets or driveways. Local law requires the Town of Yorktown and its residents to comply with NWJWW’s conservation order.

“Just as we successfully worked together to minimize Covid-19 contagion in our community, we can get through this water emergency,” said Supervisor Matt Slater. “No one is being asked to go without water. The utility is simply asking the public to follow common-sense rules that will allow our community to enjoy the summer without major inconveniences.”

The pandemic-related water usage increase in Yorktown has been significant. Prior to the pandemic Yorktown consumed about 9 million gallons of water a day in the summer; now the daily usage has risen to 12 million gallons a day.

The NWJWW provides drinking water to the Town of Cortlandt, Town of Yorktown, Town of Somers, Montrose Improvement District, and Buchanan through the operation of two surface water treatment plants.  Water is purchased from NYCDEP, treated at the Catskill and/or Amawalk Treatment Facilities, and sold to the member towns.

Public inquiries can be directed to Matthew Geho-NWJWW Operations Director-914-737-3558 ext # 111 or matthewgeho@nwjww.com.  The restrictions will be lifted as soon demand projections or operations change.

  1. A copy of the NWJWW’s advisory is attached.

NWJWW MANDATORY WATER RESTRICTION NOTICE  

EFFECTIVE JULY 12, 2021 THRU OCTOBER 12, 2021

The Northern Westchester Joint Water Works (NWJWW) provides drinking water to the Town of Cortlandt, Town of Yorktown, Town of Somers, Montrose Improvement District, and Buchanan through the operation of 2 surface water treatment plants.  Water is purchased from NYCDEP, treated at the Catskill and/or Amawalk Treatment Facilities, and sold to the member towns.  Each member town is allotted a certain percentage of total production which is limited to 14 MGD at 100% capacity.  

During periods of a drought, a major leak, a system failure, or excessive consumption beyond the capacity of the system, etc., the NWJWW has the authority to conserve and restrict water use based upon our needs to ensure adequate supply for domestic and firefighting needs. During times of drought or other problems that limit the availability of water, public notice of water use restrictions will be issued by NWJWW and enforced by distribution system superintendents through local law enforcement agencies.

NWJWW is presently undergoing capital improvements at our Amawalk Water Treatment Facility. This work will reduce our total production capacity by 25%.  Work will not be completed until late October 2021.  Based on historic demands, this would not be a cause for concern, however NWJWW has experienced an increase in demand as a direct result of COVID-19 imposed travel restrictions. 

As we head into the summer months (June-October) our demand typically increases and is offset by increased production at our Amawalk facility.  Given the plant’s capacity is reduced and NWJWW is experiencing an overall increase in production (exclusive of summer demands) we have concerns we may not be able to keep up with future demand projections. 

For this reason, we need to request water conservation measures be implemented to ensure adequate supply.  There is a direct correlation between water demand and rain events, the less rain we receive the greater the demand. Typically this increase is the result of water usage for irrigation and/or “outdoor usage” purposes.  As soil moisture decreases (less rain) demand increases since more water is needed for:

  • watering lawns or gardens- by hand or automatic sprinklers
  • Washing cars, sidewalks, driveways, decks, and houses

On average an irrigation system can use approximately 15,000 gallons of water per month based on a system having 8 stations, each station operating for 15 minutes, twice a week.  

Running a sprinkler from a standard garden hose (5/8”) for one hour uses approximately 1000 gallons of water.  So if you run a sprinkler 3 times a week, that would equate to approximately 12,000 gallons of water per month.  

The goal is to reduce demand without disrupting daily life.  These water restrictions will not impact INDOOR DOMESTIC WATER USE.  INDOOR DOMESTIC WATER USE includes the following: 

  • Laundry
  • Washing dishes (by hand or dishwasher)
  • Personal hygiene needs
  • Drinking/cooking
  • Cleaning/sanitizing

Although laundry and dish washing are not restricted we request conservation of water be practiced at all times.  Run full loads to minimize water waste.

The mandatory water restrictions shall be implemented by following odd/even days for “outdoor usage”.    During the effective period of this article, the following restrictions on water consumption shall apply.

  • Persons or businesses located at even-numbered addresses may water lawns,         shrubs, plants and gardens only on even-numbered days. 
  • Persons or businesses located at odd-numbered addresses may water lawns, shrubs, plants and gardens only on odd-numbered days. 
  • Persons and businesses located at addresses that are neither odd- nor even-numbered, such as numbers that end in a fraction or letter, shall follow the schedule for even numbered addresses.
  • This provision shall not apply to plant nurseries and other commercial water users engaged in the business of growing, distributing or selling plants, shrubs or trees, only with respect to the use of water on their business premises for watering such plants, shrubs or trees. 
  • Swimming pools shall not be filled on weekends.
  • The use of water hoses for street cleaning is prohibited. 

This small step will minimize any undo disruptions and ensure we have adequate supply available to all residents provided water by the NWJWW.    Public inquiry can be directed to Matthew Geho-NWJWW Operations Director-914-737-3558 ext # 111 or matthewgeho@nwjww.com.  The restrictions will be lifted as soon a demand projections change or operations changes.

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Contact:  Yorktown Supervisor Matt Slater, 914-962-5722 x201 ormslater@yorktownny.org

TribuneYorktown Under Water Conservation Order

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