Conserving Water During a Water Shortage or Low Pressure Event

There are several events that can impact a community water system and possibly create water shortages for the community. Such events include extreme weather like hurricanes or extended freezes, mechanical or equipment failure affecting multiple water wells, the water treatment plant, pumping stations, water storage facilities, major waterline failures, etc. During these events, the water system may experience a water shortage or lower than normal operating pressures.

What can customers do to help conserve water during these events?

If you are planning to evacuate for a hurricane, please turn off the water supply to your residence or business at the main shut off valve. The main shut off valve is usually located near the water meter or where the pipes enter the dwelling from the outside. We also suggest that you turn off and drain your water heater.

For an extended freeze event, we suggest that you turn off the water supply to your residence or business at the main shut off valve and drain your water lines. Open all faucets in the residence or building including showers, toilets and tubs. Flush the toilets. Begin on the top floor and work your way down. We also suggest that you turn off and drain your water heater. If you must drip your water, drip the faucet at the furthest distance from the point where the water enters your house or building using a “pencil thin” drip. This will allow water to pass through all of the piping. Excessive running of water is wasteful and can cause lower than normal operating pressures throughout a water system.

Best ways to conserve water:

  • Use water only when absolutely necessary;
  • Take short showers (3 minutes or less); shower instead of taking a bath, which uses more water;
  • Delay washing clothes until normal operating pressures return or normal water use is allowed;
  • Turn off water when not in use for brushing teeth, etc.;
  • Wash only full loads of clothes;
  • Use paper plates and plastic utensils to reduce dishwashing;
  • Check for and fix any leaks in toilets, faucets, hoses, pipes, etc.;
  • Flush toilets only when necessary;
  • Defer washing vehicles with drinking water;
  • Defer irrigation activities with drinking water.

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