Heat wave expected, RWA reminds residents to use water wisely

With an extended dry spell and a prolonged heat wave forecast for the coming days, the Regional Water Authority (RWA) is reminding residents to use water wisely and to never open fire hydrants.

Extreme hot and dry weather conditions put strains on water treatment and water supply systems, so does the illegal opening of fire hydrants that often increases during heat waves, the RWA said in a prepared release.

Opening fire hydrants can lower water pressure so firefighters don’t have enough water to put out a fire, potentially putting lives at risk. Children can also be at risk because the powerful force of an open hydrant without a sprinkler or spray cap can knock a child down, causing serious injury. The RWA works closely with the City of New Haven and surrounding communities to reduce the number of unauthorized hydrant openings.

High water demand and open fire hydrants can also lead to temporarily discolored water. Discolored water can occur when higher-than-normal flows of water through the water mains stir up naturally occurring minerals in the water that collect in the pipes. Discolored water is temporary and usually clears on its own. Discolored water may look unappealing, so the RWA recommends that customers wait until it clears before drinking or washing laundry. People with compromised immune systems should consult their physician before ingesting discolored water.

To ensure there is sufficient water to meet the needs of all its customers and put less stress on local water sources and the environment, the RWA encourages area residents to always use water wisely. Here are some simple things to do:

  • Shift non-critical water use, like washing clothes or dishes, to the early morning or later in the evening;

  • Use dishwashers and washing machines only when fully loaded;

  • Check water faucets, toilets and pipes for leaks, and have them fixed;

  • Minimize lawn and garden watering, water before 7 a.m. or after 7 p.m. to avoid evaporation;

  • Decrease car washing;

  • Take short showers, not baths;

  • Refrain from topping off pools unless necessary; and

  • Clean driveways, walks and patios with a broom, not a hose.