The Rockland County Department of Health has declared a stage two drought alert. A stage two declaration triggers certain voluntary and required water use restrictions for residents across the county.
Under a stage two drought alert, the following uses of water are prohibited:
- LAWNS: Lawns may be watered twice a week only on specific days. Properties with odd numbered addresses may water lawns during specific hours only on Mondays and Thursdays. Properties with even numbered addresses may water lawns during specific hours on Tuesdays and Fridays. Watering hours are between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. for automatic, in-ground irrigation systems. For manual sprinklers or hose fed irrigation the hours are between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. (NOTE: this schedule supersedes the schedule stated in the Rockland County Sanitary Code section 18.104.22.168)
- GARDENS and LANDSCAPED AREAS: Flower gardens, vegetable gardens and landscaped areas (trees, shrubs, potted plants or other outdoor plants) can be watered during specified hours every other day of the month according to property address. Properties with odd numbered addresses may water on odd days of the month (1, 3, 5, 7, 9, etc.) and properties with even numbered addresses may water on even days of the month (2, 4, 6, 8, etc.). Watering hours are between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m., for automatic, in-ground irrigation systems. For manual sprinklers or hose fed irrigation the hours are between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m.
- Nursery facilities and golf courses may exercise a water conservation plan, that is compliant with Article V of the Rockland County Sanitary Code, in lieu of the specified watering restrictions. The conservation plan must reduce average monthly usage by 10%. In addition, all water use at golf courses shall occur between the hours of 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. except for hand-watering of greens.
- Water may not be used to wash any paved surfaces (public or private) such as streets, sidewalks, driveways, tennis courts, garages, parking areas and patios, except as required for an emergency.
- Water cannot be served in restaurants unless the patron requests it.
- The use of flow-through (non-recycled) fountains, artificial waterfalls and reflecting pools is not allowed.
- Water cannot be used for flushing sewers or hydrants except for emergencies.
- All water leaks must be repaired within 48 hours.
- No bulk water supply from any source within the county may be exported outside the county.
Average rainfall over the last three months is nearly 50% below average and the extremely hot, dry weather pattern is expected to continue — placing further stress on groundwater resources. In total, Veolia operates 60 wells in Rockland County including the Ramapo Valley Well Field.
The drought watch also triggers a “drought rate” in Veolia’s operating tariff. This rate will go into effect 30 days after the declaration unless the drought alert is rescinded before that time. This will result in a 25% increase for any water usage in Veolia’s highest rate block. The “drought rate” will be applied in the following manner:
- Residential Customers: will be charged $2.98 per CCF for any usage over 12 CCF or 8,976 gallons of water per month
- Non-Residential: will be charged $ 1.62 for any usage over 900 CCF or 673,200 gallons of water per month.
- Multi-Family Units: will be charged $ 1.57 for any usage over 400 CCF or 299,200 gallons of water per month.
The New York Public Service Commission implemented this conservation rate for Veolia customers to encourage high water users to reduce their water consumption during periods of drought.