A Stage II Water Emergency has been declared in Rockland County, beginning Thursday, resulting in mandatory limitations on water used by all residents and businesses.
The emergency was declared by Rockland County Executive Ed Day and Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, in a press release issued Thursday.
“Unfortunately, our weather has remained unusually hot and dry, and our water use has remained relatively high,” said Day. “Rainfall from March through June was 36% below average. We are now forced to put mandatory restrictions into place to reduce water use and preserve water to protect public health and safety.”
The restrictions on water use apply to all residents and businesses, whether they get their water from a public water supplier such as Suez, Nyack or Suffern, or from their own private well:
— Properties with addresses ending in an odd number are instructed to water only on Mondays and Thursdays, and those with addresses ending in an even number only on Tuesdays and Fridays, between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. for automatic, in-ground irrigation systems OR between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. for manual sprinklers or hose fed irrigation. Watering in accordance with this two-day schedule is consistent with current best practice recommendations, and will be considered fully compliant, even though strict interpretation of Article V calls for alternate-day watering.
— Water may not be used to wash non-public paved surfaces such as sidewalks, driveways, garages, parking areas and patios.
— With the exception of emergency vehicles, only commercial car washes can clean automobiles, trucks or trailers.
— Water cannot be served in restaurants unless the patron requests it.
— The use of flow-through (non-recycled) fountains, artificial waterfalls and reflecting pools is not allowed.
— Water cannot be used for flushing sewers or hydrants except for emergencies.
— All water leaks must be repaired within 48 hours.
— No bulk water supply from any source within the county may be exported outside the county.
— Nursery facilities and golf courses may use a water-conservation plan that is compliant with Article V (http://rcklnd.us/mandatoryonserv) of the Rockland County Sanitary Code, instead of the specified two-day watering restrictions. More information is available at the RCDOH Drought Information web page (http://rcklnd.us/droughtinformation) Furthermore, the Commissioner of Health will be accepting applications for variances for lawns or plantings that have been installed between June 21, 2016 and July 21, 2016; no new lawns or plantings may be installed after this date. Applications for a variance are available online at http://rcklnd.us/droughtariencepp. Receipts that document a date of purchase between June 21, 2016 and July 21, 2016 must be included with the application.
The officials urged residents to use water efficiently indoors, as well.
For the most up-to-date information, residents can visit http://rcklnd.us/droughtinformation/