Double the amount of water flowing through Niskayuna’s pipes has the town reminding residents of long-held town regulations to curb sprinkler use.
The town typically sees increases in water usage during the summer, mainly due to lawn watering, town superintendent of water and sewer Richard Pollock said.
But recently the usage has doubled from standard amounts, usually 3 million gallons per day, recently 6 million gallons.
Aside from the just increased usage, the higher flows stir up sediment settled at the bottom of the pipes, causing complaints from some of dirty water, Pollock said.
“The fact of the matter is we’re going through a hell of a lot of water,” Pollock said. “When we have high demand for water, water flows faster and stirs up the sediment in the pipes.”
“In an effort to deal with that, and make sure the water looks as appealing as it tastes, we’re trying to remind people that, hey, they’ve got to cut back.”
Many unwatered lawns in the region have grown brown as the summer heat has taken hold and the natural watering system, rain, has stayed away.
The town’s sprinkling rules have long been in place, Pollock said. He couldn’t remember a specific example of someone being cited for violating the rules. However, he said his crews will remind residents of the rules, if they happen upon a home violating them.
Residents also pay for the extra water they use on their water bills. The town finished a new water meter project last year, giving better numbers on how much water residents use and are billed for.
The Niskayuna sprinkling regulations call for regular lawn sprinkling and garden watering only between the hours of 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. and again from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., on odd/even days.
Households with automatically timed sprinkler systems are only permitted to sprinkle between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m. and again from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., odd/even days.
Homes on even-numbered sides of the street may water on even-numbered days of the month, while homes on the odd-numbered sides may water on odd numbered days of the month.
The rules cut out watering during the hot mid-day sun, preventing water loss through evaporation and extended watering.
New lawns and new gardens are permitted to be watered every day from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and again from 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. for a period of three weeks. Each household is allowed two three-week periods a year.
Permission should be requested by calling the water department at 377-8411 and leaving a message including name, address and seeding date.
Overall sprinkler use should not exceed four hours per day.
The regulations are officially in effect from May 1 to Nov. 1.