Port Washington Water District official touts drip irrigation systems

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Port Washington Water District official touts drip irrigation systems
Irrigation Association of New York Trustee Mike Dwyer, left, explained the intricacies of drip irrigation and why it is a great way to conserve water to Port Washington Water District Chairman David Brackett while installing the system at the Chairman’s home. (Photo courtesy of the Port Washington Water District)

A commissioner from the Port Washington Water District outlined the importance of water conservation with the use of a drip irrigation system in a release on Friday.

Drip irrigation systems keep lawns and plants hydrated and healthy while being one of the most effective ways to conserve water, especially during the summer months. The systems are pressure-compensated tubing lined throughout the ground. 

The tubing emits roughly sixth-tenths of a gallon of water each hour for each 12-inch interval.

Each piece of tubing is 24 inches apart to prevent oversaturation or dry spots from occurring throughout the property. Since the water is deployed directly into the ground from the tubing, the evaporation of the water is significantly mitigated.

David Brackett, one of the three commissioners for the Port Washington Water District, recently installed a drip irrigation system at his house and touted the benefits it provides in regards to water conservation.

“Installing drip irrigation systems into one’s home is one of the best ways to conserve water while still keeping your property beautiful,” Brackett said. “I could not be happier with my new system and I encourage all of the District’s residents to consider having it installed on their property as well.”

With summer being the peak season for water usage, shoreline communities, such as Port Washington, require even further conservation to prevent wasteful water usage and save homeowners money, officials said last month. In shoreline communities, they said, saltwater intrusion into residential water sources becomes more likely to occur.

“We typically see a great deal of unnecessary strain on our water source during the warmer months, something which most residents do not realize,” Brackett said.

Officials said water pumpage has increased this year by 22.1 million gallons, or 17 percent, throughout the island compared to last year, with half of all water pumped wasted as a result of inefficient and wasteful irrigation habits. District officials also reminded residents that conservation is even more paramount as three well sites remain offline to treat emerging water contaminants, including 1,4 dioxane, a carcinogenic contaminant recently banned by the state.

Officials said one of the best ways for residents to conserve water is by installing a smart irrigation controller, which connects to local weather stations and adjusts watering tendencies based on the forecast. The controller, officials said, prevents overwatering in lawns and allows residents to monitor watering habits to see what is truly necessary.

The district’s Smart Controller Rebate program offers residents who make the switch to the new system with $150. Residents throughout the district will be required to make the switch to a smart controller by Jan. 1, 2025, according to a new ordinance passed by the district earlier this year.

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