City declares drought emergency

This just in from City of Kingston Water Department Superintendent Judith Hansen:


Drought Emergency – City of Kingston
Notice -Immediate Release
September 6, 2012
Contact: Judith Hansen, Superintendent
Kingston Water Department
845 331 0175
Drought Emergency

On August 17, 2012, the Kingston Water Department declared a Drought Warning and asked our customers for voluntary cooperation in conserving water. Although we appreciate these efforts to reduce consumption, it has not been enough to compensate for the continued lack of rainfall and Cooper Lake Reservoir is now at 50% of its capacity.


Therefore, effective immediately, the Board of Water Commissioners has declared a Drought Emergency and has instituted mandatory restrictions for all those being supplied with water from the City of Kingston. During Stage 1 of the Emergency, the restrictions include:
1. All leaks shall be fixed immediately
2. No washing of cars or other vehicles. Only those commercial vehicle washing operations that recycle 50% of the water used are exempt from this regulation
3. No washing sidewalks, buildings, driveways, steps, or other outdoor areas by any means that is connected to or supplied by the Kingston Water Department must cease
4. All ornamental artificial water features, such as fountains, water falls, reflecting pools, etc., that do not use recycled water must be discontinued
5. There shall be no watering of lawns, golf courses, or ornamental shrubs, plants, or trees, except that:
a. Lawns, ornamental plants, trees, and shrubs, and golf courses may be watered once each day from 9:00 PM to 10:00 PM;
b. Water may be used at anytime from a hand held container to water vegetables or fruit trees grown for human consumption
c. Plant nurseries or other commercial growers engaged in the business of growing, distributing, or selling plants may use water on their premises for watering their plants, provided that each such user reduces its use of water by 15 percent.
6. Pools that are equipped with recirculation equipment may continue in operation and water may be used to maintain the water level in the pool. All pools that are not equipped with recirculation devices can not be refilled nor can water from the City Supply be used to maintain the water level.
7. All non-residential users of water from the Kingston Water Department shall prepare and retain a water consumption reduction plan, enabling it to reduce its use of water in stages of 15%, 20%, and 25% based upon its consumption during the calendar year. During this Stage 1 of the Drought Emergency, the 15% reduction is consumption is immediately effective.

The complete Rules and Regulations restricting water use during this emergency may be found at or obtained by calling the Business Office of the KWD at 845 331-0175. Although the penalty for violating any of these rules in $50 per occurrence, the Board of Water Commissioners intends to work with our residents and businesses, to the extent possible, to reduce our consumption and extend our available supplies and has included a variance mechanism in these regulations to in achieving that goal. If we can be of assistance, please contact us at 331-0175.

Some Conservation Tips:
• Fix leaky faucets. Those drips add up and repairing leaky toilets and sinks will save you on your next water and sewer bill
• Only run washing machines and dishwashers when they are full
• Turn off water while brushing your teeth. This can save up to 4 gallons with each brushing. That can add up. If everyone in the City does this twice each day, we could save 200,000 gallons of water each day, or 5% of our daily usage in the City of Kingston.
• Consider using low flow fixtures and shower heads.

During the emergency, Water Department personnel will be actively engaged in leak detection and will be repairing all known leaks as soon as possible. To augment our supplies, we have also begun the process of securing permission to tap NYC’s Ashokan Reservoir. We have done this twice in the past, 1957 and 1980. In both instances, rains ended the drought before the interconnection could be activated and we are hoping for a similar result in 2012.

In advance, thank you for your cooperation as we work through this difficult time.