May 17, 2016 04:15 PM

The Suffolk County Water Authority on Thursday announced a three-point plan to promote the conservation of Long Island’s most vital natural resource: its sole source aquifer.

At an SCWA pump station in Sag Harbor, SCWA Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey W. Szabo, New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. and Suffolk County Legislator Bridget Fleming discussed the plan, which encourages East End residents to adopt an odd/even lawn watering schedule during the spring and summer months, offers residents the opportunity to join the East End Water Wise Club to obtain account credits for the purchase of water-conserving devices and includes an outreach effort to the East End’s biggest water consumers to encourage those users to adjust their lawn watering habits.

"Long Island is in very good shape in comparison to many other areas around the country and around the world in terms of water quantity," Szabo said. "But we want to make sure this tremendous resource remains plentiful for many more generations of Long Islanders, and so we’re asking for the public’s support on this important initiative."

"Because our water comes from directly beneath our feet in our sole source aquifer, it's especially important that we use our water wisely," said Legislator Fleming. "There's a lot we can do to reduce or eliminate wasteful water uses.  I'm happy to support this important effort by the Suffolk County Water Authority. It's an excellent step in the right direction."

Szabo noted that the initiative will not only help to ensure the long-term sustainability of the aquifer system, but could also help to prevent the need to build additional infrastructure in the towns of East Hampton, Southampton and Southold to meet peak demand. Just since 2010, SCWA has committed approximately $20 million for infrastructure projects on the East End needed to meet demand on the system caused by huge spikes in water use primarily due to early morning lawn watering during the spring and summer. Those costs will ultimately be paid by all SCWA customers in their water bills.

In addition to asking East End customers to adopt odd/even watering and seeking an adjustment in watering patterns by top water consumers, the initiative announced Thursday creates the East End Water Wise Club. Participants will qualify to receive account credits for up to $50 per household for the purchase of a rain sensor and/or low-flow showerheads and faucet fixtures. Club members can receive a credit of up to $50, not to exceed the purchase price, for a rain sensor and credits of up to $10 each, also not to exceed the purchase price, for low-flow showerheads and faucet fixtures. Multiple devices may be purchased, but the maximum account credit is $50. Original receipts are required and devices must be purchased in 2016. JOIN HERE.

Pictured from left are Suffolk Legislator Bridget Fleming, Suffolk County Water Authority Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey W. Szabo and New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. as they announce SCWA’s three-point plan to encourage water conservation on the East End at a press conference in Sag Harbor.

The Suffolk County Water Authority is an independent public-benefit corporation operating under the authority of the Public Authorities Law of the State of New York.  Serving approximately 1.2 million Suffolk County residents, the Authority operates without taxing power on a not-for-profit basis.



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