FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. — Aquarion Water Co. will construct a temporary pipeline to supply water to four towns in Fairfield County as drought conditions continue, according to an amended emergency order Tuesday from the state.
The state Department of Public Health said the pipeline will bring more water to Darien, Greenwich, New Canaan and Stamford.
Aquarion has already placed a mandatory ban on the use of outdoor watering devices, including irrigation systems, sprinklers, and soaker hoses, in the four towns.
On Sept. 29, DPH Commissioner Dr. Raul Pino declared a public water supply emergency in the four towns. The new order will allow Aquarion to divert water from an additional source of supply and to build a temporary pipeline to help deliver the water to the four towns.
“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 Pino.
Aquarion requested permission for the construction of 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 and the Public Utility Regulatory Authority, determined that the amended declaration was necessary to prevent further depletion of the water supply.
“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,” said Pino.
The amended order does not change the conditions put in place under the Sept. 29 emergency order. Those conditions include:
- prohibiting Aquarion from adding new customers;
- continuing mandatory outdoor watering bans for the four towns;
- requiring Aquarion to provide weekly public notifications on water supplies for the four towns;
- requiring Aquarion 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, DEEP and local health departments on water supply measurements, effectiveness of conservation practices, results of water quality monitoring, and information on daily water diversion totals.
The amended order will remain in effect until Oct. 31, but Aquarion can apply for additional 30-day extensions, up to a maximum of 150 days.
Most of the state has been under severe drought conditions for weeks. With no major rain in the forecast, the drought conditions are expected to persist.
According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, 86 percent of Connecticut is under severe drought conditions and the remainder of the state is under moderate drought conditions.