Roslyn Water District officials are developing a water-rationing plan for the upcoming summer that would serve as a contingency option if the district’s two closed wells are not quickly brought back into operation.
The plan would allow residents to water their lawns and gardens during warm-weather months, when water demand is typically at its highest, officials said.
Water district officials had previously requested Roslyn residents to not water their lawns at all this summer to conserve water, as its two closed wells and one partially-closed well have further decreased water pressure throughout the district and could lead to a water shortage.
“We’re in the process of developing this, I think it’s going to happen pretty quickly,” said Richard Pasariello, superintendent of the Roslyn Water District. “We’re going to try to get this out to residents before they reach out to their sprinkler companies.”
Pasariello said he could not yet disclose details about the plan, but letters describing the rationing would be sent to residents within the district within the next week. At press time, the letters had not yet been sent to residents.
The Roslyn Water District is comprised of Roslyn Heights, Roslyn Harbor, Flower Hill, North Hills, Greenvale, Albertson, Glenwood Landing and Port Washington. Each well distributes water throughout the district through 93 miles of water mains.
Officials have said the district consumes more than 291,700 gallons per hour on an average summer day. The district uses approximately 155,000 gallons per hour on an average day.
“If we can get a couple hours every other day, versus zero, absolutely I’ll support it,” Village of Roslyn Estates Mayor Jeff Schwartzberg said.
Water district officials have said that since water pressure during peak hours has decreased in the last year, the district could face a water shortage if offline wells are not put back in use quickly. The two closed wells, located at Diana’s Trail in Roslyn Estates and beneath the William Cullen Bryant Viaduct, were found to be contaminated with the chlorofluorocarbon Freon-22 last year. Traces of Freon-22 have also been found at the water district’s well on Mineola Avenue.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s website, Freon-22 was created by the DuPont chemical company for use in air-conditioning units and to refrigerate heating pumps, but contributes to ozone depletion and global warming. Production of Freon-22 and other chlorofluorocarbons has been phased out in the last decade.
Exposure to Freon-22 can cause dizziness, loss of concentration, central nervous system depression and/or cardiac arrhythmia if inhaled in high concentrations, and can also cause asphyxiation if inhaled in confined spaces, according to its material data sheets.
To rid the water of Freon-22, water district officials proposed air stripper projects for the wells at Diana’s Trail and Mineola Avenue as part of a $20.9 million bond approved by the Town of North Hempstead in late February. The strippers would remove Freon-22 from the air and send emissions of the chlorofluorocarbon into the air.
The air stripper at Diana’s Trail was widely opposed by residents who were concerned about the long-term health effects of the exposure to emissions.
North Hempstead officials approved the bond under the condition that the water district would explore moving the project to Christopher Morley Park as part of a land-swap agreement that would require approval from Nassau County and the state Legislature.