Town eyes water conservation plan; hearing set for Feb. 7

The Riverhead Town Board is proposing new water conservation measures that will include regulations limiting water use during periods of peak demand. 

The Town Board has scheduled a public hearing on the plan for its Feb. 7 meeting. 

The proposal calls for certain restrictions on consumption to begin April 15, at times when peak demand occurs, for all properties serviced by the Riverhead Water District. 

Water customers with addresses ending in odd numbers would be able to water lawns, fill pools, wash cars, etc., only on odd-numbered dates. Those with even-numbered addresses could do the same only on even-numbered dates. 

Subdivisions with common areas could water those areas every other day, according to the proposal. No one would be permitted to water between 5 and 9 a.m. on any day. 

Residents with an installed sprinkler system that doesn’t have a programmable timer that can be set to accommodate the new restrictions can seek a waiver, which will limit the number of dates permitted for watering. Limits will also be placed on water consumption during a declared emergency, and the water district superintendent may terminate or reduce water use during an emergency, among other restrictions in the proposal. 

“This isn’t about policing how much water you use,” water district superintendent Frank Mancini said at last Tuesday’s Town Board meeting. “It’s an opportunity to educate the public.”