RWA customers asked to conserve water

RWA control room
RWA control room

NEW HAVEN >> Despite the rain over the weekend, the South Central Regional Water Authority is calling on customers to voluntarily reduce water usage in their homes and businesses.

“We are at quite a deficit, so we need quite a bit of rain,” said Kate Powell, communications and outreach manager for the RWA.

The advisory level for the end of September is for the reservoirs to be at 43 percent capacity, Powell said. As of the end of last month, the RWA’s seven reservoirs were at a combined 59 percent capacity.

“We are above the advisory, but we need to make sure we stay there,” she said.

The company is asking customers to voluntarily reduce their water usage by 10 percent, in light of the dry weather and falling reservoir levels.

The RWA serves Ansonia, Bethany, Branford, Cheshire, Derby, East Haven, Hamden, Milford, New Haven, North Branford, North Haven, Orange, Seymour, West Haven and Woodbridge.

Supplies in the reservoirs, overall, are adequate, Ted Norris, RWA vice president of asset management, said in a press release announcing the request.

While the company has sources and flexibility to meet customers’ needs, “given the pattern of diminished precipitation and indications this weather pattern will continue, we felt it was prudent to ask our residential and business customers to voluntarily conserve water,” Norris said.

“Water is essential to life. Having an adequate supply for drinking, public health, fire protection and the environment is the RWA’s top priority,” he said.

Reducing water usage can come in a variety of ways, according to the RWA, including using brooms to clean outdoor patios instead of hoses; catching extra shower water while the water is warming in a bucket and using that for watering plants; and only running the washing machine when it’s full.

According to the RWA, running a dishwasher only requires four to six gallons of water, whereas the average faucet will release two gallons of water per minute.

The water company is suggesting customers run full loads in the dishwasher, rather than hand-washing dishes.

Lastly, the company has asked that customers refrain from taking baths, as showers use less water, and to make sure faucets are turned off while brushing teeth and washing hands.

“A little conservation done by a lot of customers equals big water savings,” Norris said. “We will continue to monitor weather conditions and water demands, and will modify our request for water conservation measures accordingly.”