2003-06-06 / Community

Observe Seasonal Water Use Rules

Observe Seasonal Water Use Rules

New York City Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Christopher O. Ward has announced that the City’s reservoirs are at 100%, just where they should be at June 1, the start of the traditional water year. At the same time he stressed the importance of New Yorkers being more diligent than ever in observing seasonal water use rules and conserving water.

"We mark June 1 as the date at which reservoirs should be at 100% capacity in order to serve the City’s needs for the coming year," said Commissioner Ward. "This year, unlike last, when we were in a critical drought on this date, we have experienced plentiful amounts of rain that have filled our reservoirs to the brim. But there’s always a chance that the abundant rains will stop, and we’ll be glad we were careful in our efforts to avoid wasting water."

"There are always a number of seasonal water rules in effect," continued Commissioner Ward. "They are applicable during the fall and winter from November 1 through March 31, while between April 1 and October 31, some of the rules are altered to allow for warm weather activities. The only time seasonal water use rules are revised is during droughts. Among year-round rules that never change is the prohibition against illegally opening fire hydrants.

New Yorkers can seriously endanger themselves when they illegally open hydrants. Water pressure is lowered and firefighters are hindered in their firefighting efforts. A hydrant running at full force can actually propel a child into oncoming traffic. In addition, opening fire hydrants can contribute to street flooding and sewer backups. People who wish to cool off on hot days can obtain special spray caps from local departments. The spray cap limits the flow to 25 gallons a minute instead of wasting one thousand gallons of water a minute and children can play safely in a cooling spray.

Washing sidewalks, driveways, and streets before 11 a.m. and after 7 p.m., watering lawns with hose or using automatic sprinkler before 11 a.m. and after 7 p.m. The hose must have self-closing nozzle, automatic rain sensor on sprinklers. There are no restrictions on swimming pools.

For further information about water use regulations and water conservation, visit the DEP website at www. nyc.gov/dep. Report running or illegally opened hydrants, water or sewer problems to the City’s 24-hour help line at 311.

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