By Callie Metler-Smith
City Manager Alan Plumlee announced in a press conference Monday, November 3, 2014 that the City of Stamford is officially moving to Stage III Water Conservation effective November 10th, which is defined as Water Crisis, and is implemented when Stamford Lake falls below 16.5 feet below spillway. Stamford has been on Stage II, Water Emergency, since October 24, 2013 when the lake hit 14 feet below the spillway.
The goal at Stage III is to limit the water used by each user to less that 1.25 MGD. Stage III calls for residential and commercial yard watering, including the golf course, to be limited to watering between 10pm and 8am. Even numbered addresses will be able to water on Tuesdays, and odd numbered addresses will be able to water on Thursdays. The methods of yard watering are restricted to: drip irrigation, hand-held hose, automatic sprinkler system, and a soaker hose. (Runoff will be monitored and water will not be allowed to run into the gutter or otherwise be wasted regardless of method used.)
Residential washing of vehicles will be prohibited, and washing of driveways, sidewalks, parking areas, windows, or structures will be prohibited. Restaurants will also serve water to customers only on request. Public properties, such as the schools, are restricted to watering one day a week from 6 am to 10 am.
There will be no rate changes for 0-10,000 gallons, but rates will increase for every 10,000 gallons that are exceeded. These rate increases will be added to the water bill, not the sewer and trash. Residents that exceed 20,000 gallons two months in a row will be fined $250.
Plumlee said that all of the communities that the city sells water to wholesale will also have to abide by the new water restrictions. He will also be initiating preparations for an implementation of pro rata curtailment for these communities that is based on 75% of their average for the last 5 years. This Pro Rata rate will be enacted if the City has to go into Stage IV.
The City will post the changes at City Hall and a copy of the Water Conservation Contingency Plan which was approved by the council in 2011 is available at City Hall upon request or at the Stamford American website. Stage IV will be enacted if the lake reaches 19 feet below the spillway.