BRISTOL - City officials have lifted mandatory water restrictions that had been in place since October because of a statewide drought.
The decision was made Wednesday evening at a monthly meeting of the Bristol Water Department Board of Water Commissioners in City Hall. The restrictions lifted had banned all outdoor, non-essential uses of water, including lawn and garden watering, car washing and pool filling.
Now, the board and the Bristol Water Department are asking citizens to abide by a voluntary odd/even watering system. This calls for houses with odd numbers to fulfill non-essential, outdoor uses on odd number calendar days and vice versa for even numbered houses.
“Although our levels have climbed to 99 percent during March and April, future lack in precipitation could always put us back into drought restrictions,” said Rob Longo, superintendent of the Bristol Water Department, according to a statement the department issued Thursday.
“ We are asking all of our customers to work with us with the odd/even system so that we can avoid any future problems if we have another dry summer,” said Robert Badal, chairman of the Board of Water Commissioners.
Last July, the city’s reservoir levels began dropping. The lack of rain continued into the fall, which led to the levels dropping below 40 percent in October. This prompted the mandatory outdoor restrictions to take effect on Oct. 20.
According to officials, city residents were very cooperative in their conservation efforts.
“ Our customers’ conservation since October was instrumental in helping us get the reservoirs back up to normal levels and we know many sacrifices were made by our customers throughout the winter, which we greatly appreciate,” Badal said.
To further help in conserving water, the water department is giving away toilet test strips and shower timers.
The test strips will alert residents to a leaky toilet, which can waste more than 4,000 gallons of water a month. The shower timers help keep showers under five minutes. Both of these can be picked up at Bristol Water Department office, at 119 Riverside Ave. They are free for residents.
Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.