The Roslyn Water District, as part of its Save 2 initiative, is imploring residents to be mindful of the increased water consumption resulting from the warmer months.
During the spring and summer months, water consumption skyrockets throughout the district and this increase is directly related to residential irrigation systems.
To help reduce the overall demand and to ensure the water infrastructure within the district can keep up with the community’s increasing demand, the district is providing its residents with helpful information to reduce the amount of water consumed by irrigation systems without sacrificing the health and beauty of their lawns and landscaping.
“While there is no water shortage or drought in our area, the physical capacity of our system and its ability to draw the water up from the ground essentially redlines every summer,” said Roslyn Water District Chairman Michael Kosinski. “While we continuously make improvements to our system’s infrastructure, there is still only so much volume the networks of water mains can handle. We all enjoy a green lawn, but the fact of the matter is much of the water pumped is wasted through evaporation and inefficient irrigation systems. Following the conservation tips made available to residents strikes the right balance of water conservation while maintaining a healthy landscape.”
During the average winter month, the RWD pumps approximately 1.8 million gallons of water per day. Since irrigation systems and other outdoor water uses are a nonfactor during the colder months, this is the best indicator of the basic water needs of the community.
During the summer, average pumpage increases to an average of 5.8 million gallons per day. This June, given the stretches of warm, dry weather, the District has experienced a 29 percent increase compared to last year’s pumpage. The District is currently pumping four million gallons of water per day strictly to meet the demand for outdoor uses, particularly irrigation systems.
“We are providing this information not to tell people to stop watering their lawns, but rather to generate awareness of the overall water usage within our community,” said RWD Commissioner Dr. Sanford Klein. “If every resident took an action to cut back even just a little bit from their current usage, the impact Districtwide would be tremendous.”
Replacing a standard irrigation timer with a smart irrigation controller is the single greatest way to conserve a significant amount of water. These easy-to-install controllers are web-based which enables them to connect with local weather stations to better predict weather patterns and adjust watering needs appropriately.
Many of these systems also provide mobile apps that enable the user to adjust sprinkling times remotely. The systems conserve water so well that the district has recently passed a resolution to require all residential and commercial irrigation systems to have smart irrigation controllers installed by 2025.
Costing an average of $250 per unit, these controllers can often pay for themselves within a year or two strictly off of the savings seen from residents’ water bills.
There are many additional ways residents can join the District’s Save 2 initiative and reduce overall water consumption by also following these simple steps:
• Turn back irrigation timers by two minutes per zone.
• Ensure irrigation timers comply with Nassau County’s Lawn Watering Ordinance
o Watering is prohibited between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
o Odd-numbered homes can only water on odd-numbered days.
o Even and non-numbered homes can only water on even-numbered days.
• Irrigation systems are set to provide the appropriate amount of water. Do not reset your irrigation timer even if you feel your lawn is not getting enough water. It most likely already is.
• Install a rain sensor or check that your current rain sensor is functioning properly.
• Mulch around flower beds to retain additional water.
• Use a drip irrigation system to limit water lost through evaporation and improve amounts of water delivered to root systems.
• Consider planting drought-resistant shrubs and flowers in your garden.
“We ask for every resident to implement these measures as they will conserve water while also allowing lawns and gardens to remain healthy,” said RWD Commissioner William Costigan. “It will require a little bit of effort, but ensuring that we are protecting our only water source for future generations and providing our firefighters with an ample supply within the system to fight fires is well worth it.”
For additional information about water conservation and tips to save water around the home, please call (516) 621-7770 or visit the Roslyn Water District website at www.roslynwater.org.