City issues warning about water supply; voluntary water restrictions implemented

Mayor Kenneth Cockayne announced today that the Bristol Water Department, as a Department of the City of Bristol, is notifying customers that the city’s reservoirs have declined to 70 percent capacity from the lack of rain and that the water department has issued voluntary water restrictions effective immediately.

“A lack of rain and unseasonably warm weather over the past few weeks has lowered our reservoirs along with the aquifers that our well fields draw water from to levels that require the Bristol Water Department to request conservation from our customers,” said Robert J. Longo, superintendent of the Bristol Water Department in a press release from the city. Longo added, “Earlier this week, the Bristol Water Department reached out to our larger users including the Parks Department, Public Works, Fire Department, Board of Education, Pequabuck and Chippanee golf courses, ESPN, St Paul Catholic High School, and Lake Compounce asking for their cooperation in reducing usage at their facilities, all of which offered their immediate assistance.”

Although the reservoirs are at 70 percent capacity, no rain in the immediate forecast will cause the levels to continue to drop, said the release. The Bristol Water Department in coordination with the mayor’s office is requesting that customers limit the amount of outside water use and to adhere to the department’s policy on odd / even watering. Odd / even watering allows for properties with an even street number to water on even days of the month and the same for properties with odd street numbers to water on odd days of the month. The odd/Even watering system also applies to washing cars, watering flowers and any other non-essential outside uses, said the release from the city.

“During the past month the Bristol Water Department personnel have worked diligently identifying ways to increase supply to the system along with ways to conserve water in an effort to avoid any restrictions, yet the lack of rain and dropping levels have forced us to ask for the cooperation from our customers,” said Longo in the news release. The Bristol Water Department has suspended the Annual Hydrant Flushing program, increased its supply from wells along with its supply from a connection with the City of New Britain on Stafford Avenue.

Cockayne stated in the news release, “The water levels at the reservoirs and wells will continue to be monitored regularly to assure that the levels are stabilizing before mandatory restrictions would be required. The Water Department has been in close communication with the Department of Public Health, who today issued an advisory to all water systems in the State to closely monitor their water levels. This advisory from the state indicates that the lack of precipitation is becoming a statewide concern and is not just a concern for the water supplies to the City of Bristol,” the mayor added in the release.

The last time the Bristol Water Department issued mandatory restrictions was in 2002 when reservoirs dropped to nearly 50 percent capacity, forcing the Department to enforce the emergency restrictions, said the news release from the city.

Anyone with questions on the restrictions or the city’s water supply can contact the Bristol Water Department at (860)582-7431. Information on the voluntary restrictions along with other ways to conserve water can also be found on the Bristol Water Department website at www.bristolwaterdept.org or on the Bristol Water Department and Mayor’s Office Facebook pages.

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