April showers bring May flowers…and an end to the drought

By JEN CARDINES

STAFF WRITER

Trees are beginning to bud. The ski jackets are put away, and there were even a few convertibles seen cruising down Queen Street on some of April’s warmer days. Spring has sprung, and with it comes the demand for more water.

In another month, residents will look forward to opening their swimming pools, which can range from 10,000 to 60,000 gallons of water, depending on the size and depth. Gardens usually bloom with the help of a watering can, too. The promise of warm sunny days brings the urge to turn on the faucet, but water officials warn locals to keep in mind how quickly those gallons add up.

Southington’s water superintendent Fred Rogers said that there are no water restrictions right now. After snow from the blizzards melted and April’s heavy rainfall hit town, water levels have risen to sufficient level. Still, Rogers said the department is paying attention to weather patterns.

According to the Connecticut Department of Public Health records, Southington water levels were at 98.58 percent as of March. While the current status is good, the water department always encourages residents to only use what they need.

“We always hope everyone is mindful of conservation,” said Rogers. “We appreciate that.”

Throughout the year, the town relies on six wells to provide water, but there are three small reservoirs, considered surface water, that provide it too.

“We have 85 to 90 percent groundwater in Southington, which helps,” Rogers said.

Last summer, the Southington Water Department imposed water restrictions from June until September due to the minimal rainfall. Officials spent the summer monitoring weather patterns and creating ways to limit water use. “Non essential” activities such as watering lawns, washing cars, and watering flowers were restricted.

What started as a voluntary restriction became mandatory when receding volumes in the Quinnipiac River raised alarms, and rainfall was scarce.

“If we don’t get steady rainfall this season we may do a voluntary water restriction like last year,” Rogers said.

However, Southington is in the clear for the time being, just in time for spring and summer activities.

For more information, contact the Southington Water Department at (860) 628-5593 or check for updates and news from the Water Department at www.southington.org/content/17216/17776/default.aspx

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