Danbury’s City Water Bureau, which also serves parts of Bethel and Ridgefield, requested emergency assistance from the Connecticut Department of Public Health because its reservoirs are approaching critically low levels.
On Monday, DPH Commissioner Dr. Raul Pino signed an order declaring a temporary 30-day public water supply emergency for Danbury.
This order allows Danbury to draw on Lake Kenosia as a source of available water supply.
“The current drought conditions are taxing many of the state’s reservoirs," Pino said. "DPH will continue to be vigilant in our enforcement of our drinking water standards while working with systems to make sure they continue to provide adequate supplies of water to their customers."
DPH determined that the declaration was necessary to prevent further depletion of the city's water supply.
To access the new water source, Danbury must institute mandatory water conservation measures and demonstrate to DPH that it is maximizing the use of all current water sources.
Other conditions include:
- prohibiting Danbury from adding new customers;
- continuing mandatory outdoor watering bans;
- requiring Danbury to provide weekly public notifications on water supplies for the affected towns;
- requiring Danbury to perform a water audit of its top 20 largest water users and assist users with identifying ways to reduce usage;
- requiring Danbury to develop a plan on how it will test weekly for corrosion;
- requiring the monitoring of water entering the West Lake Reservoir treatment plant for bacteria, cyanotoxins, pesticides and inorganic chemicals; and
- providing several weekly reports on water supply measurements, effectiveness of conservation practices, communications with town and local health officials in the affected towns, and results of water quality monitoring.
This is the third public water system in the past two months to request a declaration to take additional steps to ensure an adequate supply of drinking water.
Aquarion Water Co. was granted an emergency order Sept. 29 in order to divert water from other areas of its system to the towns of Greenwich, Stamford, Darien and New Canaan. On Oct. 20, an order was issued to the City of Waterbury allow it to reduce the amount of water it is required to discharge to the Shepaug River.
“We have asked all of the state’s public water suppliers to review their current drought plans and make any necessary adjustments to their drought triggers,” Pino added. “I strongly encourage individuals, households and businesses throughout Connecticut to similarly review their water usage to determine where they can conserve water. Whether it’s not running water while brushing teeth, washing fuller loads of clothes and dishes, shortening showers, or other conservation measures, any adjustments to water consumption are helpful.”
The order will remain in effect for 30 days, but Danbury can apply for additional 30 day extensions, up to a maximum of 150 days.
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