DARIEN, Conn. — As drought conditions deepen across Connecticut due to a rainfall shortage of about 2 feet, the Darien Board of Selectmen has voted to declare a Water Supply Emergency.
As a result of the vote conducted Monday, Nov. 7, a number of restrictions have been put in place in town, according to a statement from Darien First Selectman Jayme Stevenson and Director of Health David Knauf.
"A day or two of rain will not solve this problem," the statement said. "Our reservoirs and groundwater supplies have been depleted since precipitation amounts received over the past two years has been about about 2 feet below normal. Until we get significant levels of precipitation, we need to use water carefully."
The board took the action after the Connecticut Department of Public Health had ordered Aquarion Water Co. to take action because of the continued depletion of available water supplies in local reservoirs.
This emergency declaration — pursuant to Section 34-21 of the Darien Town Code — gives local officials the ability to restrict several water use activities until further notice.
The following activities are now declared to be unlawful in Darien:
- lawn watering;
- watering of shrubbery, perennial flowers and trees;
- filling pools or ponds;
- washing vehicles, unless at facilities that use recycled water;
- failing to repair or report water leaks;
- using fire hydrants for any activity other than firefighting;
- flushing and power washing walkways, driveways and the exterior of buildings; and
- irrigating at golf courses except in accordance with a conservation plan approved by town officials.
Reasonable exceptions to the restrictions may be made upon a review of a water conservation plan submitted to the Health Department with a decision provided by the First Selectman's Office.
As part of the order, penalties and fines can be issued to those who violate the declaration after an official warning notice has been issued.
Warning notices will be issued by the Darien Health Department, with any subsequent penalties assessed by the Darien Police Department.
With local water supplies severely stressed by this drought, businesses and residents need to adopt water conservation practices sooner rather than later, the statement said.
In addition to the actions listed above, the following measures are strongly encouraged:
- do not let the water run while shaving, brushing teeth, or doing dishes
- make sure washing machines and dishwashers are full before running them.
- take shorter showers; don't take baths, or if you do, don't fill the tub
- check for water leaks, especially in the bathroom; toilets are notorious for leaking
- flush toilets only when necessary.
- local restaurants have been asked to serve water to patrons only by request.