The utility company suggested that customers stop watering their lawns, cover their swimming pools, clean up outside with a broom instead of a hose, and check their plumbing for leaks.
“In light of continued drought, Connecticut Water is asking all customers to engage in voluntary water conservation,” the company said in a statement. “We only ask customers to conserve when it is necessary to preserve water resources for drinking, hygiene, sanitation and fire protection in systems that have hydrants.”
According to the statement, the state has experienced five fewer inches of rainfall than what would be expected in an average summer. The company serves about 105,000 customers, or about 350,000 people, in 60 towns in Connecticut, including some towns in Hartford, Tolland, Middlesex, New London, Windham and New Haven counties, it says online.
“It would take several days of moderate rain to catch up to normal levels,” Connecticut Water said.
Gov. Ned Lamont said Friday that the U.S. Department of Agriculture declared New London and Windham counties natural disaster areas because of the region’s persistent drought, making farmers eligible for emergency loans.
Hartford, Middlesex and Tolland counties were designated as contiguous counties as part of the USDA declaration.
Lamont also increased the state’s drought response for New London and Windham counties as potential threats endanger water supplies, agriculture and ecosystems. The governor has cited climate change as the cause of the conditions.
Connecticut Water said its current policy bills residential customers at a slightly higher rate when their average water consumption exceeds 200 gallons per day in a billing period.
In the event that water conservation becomes mandatory, Connecticut Water said non-compliant customers could face a fee of up to $200.
Alison Cross can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.