New order allows Aquarion to draw on additional water sources
The State Department of Public Health (DPH) today issued an amended public drinking water supply emergency order for four Fairfield County towns served by Aquarion Water Company (AWC): Greenwich, Stamford, Darien and New Canaan. Today’s order does not alter the existing order, which was signed by DPH Commissioner Raul Pino on September 29, 2016. Rather, it allows Aquarion to divert water from an additional source of supply and construct a temporary pipeline to help deliver the water to the four towns.
The continuing drought conditions throughout the state necessitated Aquarion’s request for an amended order to allow for the construction of approximately 8,000 feet of temporary above-ground pipeline to transfer additional water from Aquarion’s Southwest Regional Pipeline to its Stamford system, which serves Stamford and the other three towns. DPH, in consultation with the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and the Public Utility Regulatory Authority (PURA), determined that the amended declaration was necessary to prevent further depletion of the water supply. To view the Commissioner’s Declaration and Order, please click here.
“It is clear that the current drought is continuing to present challenges for some of Connecticut’s public water suppliers, as is evidenced by our actions today to ensure that Aquarion continues to provide an adequate supply of safe drinking water to lower Fairfield County,” said Commissioner Pino. “We will continue to monitor the Aquarion situation very closely. In the meantime, I continue to encourage all Connecticut residents to conserve water during our continuing drought.”
The DPH amended order does not change the conditions put in place under the September 29th emergency order. Those conditions include: prohibiting AWC adding new customers without prior approval by DPH; continuing mandatory outdoor watering bans for the CT towns; requiring AWC to provide weekly public notifications on water supplies for the affected towns; requiring AWC to perform a water audit of its top 20 largest water users in the affected towns and assist users identifying ways to reduce usage; and providing several weekly reports to DPH, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and local health departments on water supply measurements, effectiveness of conservation practices, communications with town and local health officials in both the CT and NY-affected towns, results of water quality monitoring, and information on daily water diversion totals.
The amended order will remain in effect until October 31, 2016, but AWC can apply for additional 30 day extensions, up to a maximum of 150 days.