Port water district to expand emergency methods

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The Port Washington Water District announced Wednesday that it is working on updating its emergency plan to improve service reliability to customers who most need it.

The upgrade will improve the district’s records for consumers who require potable water as a medical necessity.

“The most important part of updating our emergency plan is ensuring that when emergency situations occur, the district is better equipped to serve our customers who rely on running water for a medical purpose,” said David Brackett, chairman of the district’s board.

Certain Port Washington customers with medical conditions, such as kidney dialysis patients, require an uninterrupted supply of potable water for their treatment, officials said.

These customers will be prioritized for notification and service restoration during an emergency situation, officials said.

“While we all enjoy seamless access to clean running water, there are members of our community that could experience a detrimental impact on their health if their water supply is interrupted,” Bracket said. “This exercise will allow us to collect the necessary information from our most vulnerable customers so we are best equipped to notify and serve them in an expeditious manner.”

Residents wishing to be on file due to a medical condition should send a letter to the district along with a note from their physician that documents the specific medical condition, according to a news release.

The water district has also been working to expand its conservation methods, further developing its campaign that saved more than 52,000 gallons of water last summer by offering residents rebates to install a smart irrigation system.

The campaign, Be Smart and Green, Save 15, began last year and encouraged residents to reduce water consumption by 15 percent between May and September — the months with the highest water use.

The water district installed a Smart Irrigation System Controller at its headquarters that adjusted the use of its sprinklers according to weather reports and which saved 52,000 gallons.

The water district is now offering qualifying residents a $150 rebate to replace their watering system with a Smart Irrigation Controller in an effort to expand conservation efforts to residents.

The water district is also offering the largest residential water users a free consultation to evaluate their irrigation system and look for leaks and other problems that are wasting water.

Last year, the water district pumped more than 1.4 billion gallons of water from the aquifer for the 30,000 residents it serves, and 860 million gallons of the water was pumped between May and September, officials said.

The 52,000 gallons of water saved last summer was a 70 percent reduction from 2015.

The Town of North Hempstead has committed to help the water district and introduced methods for the Harbor Links Golf Course in Port Washington to cut back on usage, Germain said.

The water district will continue to remind residents of the Nassau County lawn watering ordinances, which require residents to water on odd or even days correlating with their house numbers, and restrict lawn watering from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., officials said.

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