Drought leads to call to conserve water for 5 shoreline towns, high fire danger

Environment

OLD SAYBROOK, Conn. (WTNH)– This drought is doing a lot more than causing lawns to turn brown. Fire officials warn of real fire dangers in dry conditions and a water company along the shoreline has put out the call to conserve.

As soon as Regan Laurie attempts to water her family’s flowers their dog Ludacris gets right in there.

“He’s definitely the biggest water consumer of the whole house,” said Laurie.

They live in Old Saybrook, which along with Westbrook, Clinton, Madison and Guilford, are now under a water advisory. 

Connecticut Water is asking residents to voluntarily cut their water usage by ten percent because demand is up by twenty percent and precipitation is down diminishing the water supply.

“We are down about six and a half feet now,” said Craig Patla, V.P. of Operations for Connecticut Water Company. 

The Laurie family already conserves. 

“When we brush our teeth, we shut off the water like while we’re brushing,” said Sadie Laurie.

“We take short showers,” added Regan Laurie.

They don’t water their lawn, just their flowers, and they use the water sparingly.

“As we walk to another bed like a bed over there, a bed over there, we can just turn it back on and it can… we’ll just save water in between it instead of letting it run all the way down over there, which is nice,” said Regan Laurie.

Connecticut Water suggests residents…

  • Stop watering lawns.
  • Shut off automatic irrigation systems.
  • Sweep patios and driveways rather than using a hose on paved surfaces.
  • Turn off water when brushing teeth or shaving.
  • Take showers instead of baths.
  • Fix leaks: A faucet that drips can waste up to 3,280 gallons of water per year.

“We did have a hose that was leaking and we got a new hose,” said Regan Laurie. “It’s simple ways to fix a bigger issue.”

Another issue with this drought is the fire danger which is now ‘extremely high.’ Recent fires like the one in North Windham show the dangers of this drought.

“Then we have low humidity and wind gusts which all create fire spread,” said Steven Frischling, spokesperson for the Chesterfield Fire Company in Waterford.

He warns that tossing a lit cigarette out a car window now could spark a lot of trouble.

Even people with burn permits can not do any outside burning under these dry conditions. The state has banned that.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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