Outdoor water ban lifted; voluntary odd/even water use requested

The Bristol Water Department Board of Water Commissioners met Tuesday night and lifted the ban on water use outdoors and is instead implementing an odd-even water use policy.

Superintendent Robert Longo gave the Board an update on all that was done over the winter to utilize all water sources and the conservation measures taken by customers.

A press release from the mayor’s office reported Longo recommended lifting the mandatory outside water use ban effective immediately. Instead, he asked the board to reinstate a voluntary odd/even watering program.

“Although our levels have climbed to 99 percent during March and April, future lack in precipitation could always put us back into drought restrictions,” Longo said, according to the press release.

The 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.

Chairman Robert Badal stated, according to the press release, “We are asking all of our customers to work with us with the odd / even system so that we can avoid any future problems if we have another dry summer.”

The press release explained reservoir levels began dropping off in late July 2016 and due to a lack of rain, went below 40 percent in October.

On Oct. 20, the Bristol Water Department enacted the mandatory outside water use ban, which remained in place until this week.

“Our customers’ conservation since October was instrumental in helping us get the reservoirs back up to normal levels and we know many sacrifices were made by our customers throughout the winter, which we greatly appreciate,” Badal stated, according to the press release.

The Water Department posted on their website some simple ways residents can easily reduce their consumption including turning the water off as they brush their teeth and only running full loads of laundry. The Water Department also will be giving out free toilet leak test strips that residents can use to make sure their toilets are not leaking water down the drain. A leaky toilet can waste over 4,000 gallons of water each month.

“We just got in a shipment of Shower Timers that customers can use to keep showers under 5 minutes, which not only helps our water levels, but also helps customers reduce their bills,” said Longo. Toilet test strips and shower timers can be picked up at the Water Department office located at 119 Riverside Ave. and are free of charge to City residents.

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

Residents interested in receiving additional notices from the Water Department can sign up for email alerts at the bottom of the home page of the Bristol Water Department’s website.

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