Going into the Labor Day weekend, Pennsylvania American Water is urging its customers in 21 counties to voluntarily reduce their water consumption in support of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) drought watch declaration. While the company encourages its customers to always use water wisely, Pennsylvania American Water is asking customers in the following counties to voluntarily reduce their water usage by 5-10 percent (a reduction of 3-6 gallons per day) in accordance with DEP’s guidance: Berks, Bucks, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Columbia, Dauphin, Lackawanna, Lebanon, Luzerne, McKean, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Northumberland, Pike, Schuylkill, Susquehanna, Union, Wayne and Wyoming counties. This request follows a voluntary conservation notice issued by the company for customers in the Bangor area on Aug. 15 following below-normal rainfall.
“We’re asking our customers to observe the DEP’s request and be mindful of their non-essential water use during this drought watch, while we vigilantly monitor our drinking water sources,” said Marcus Kohl, director of water quality and environmental compliance for Pennsylvania American Water. “Our sources of supply are currently adequate to meet the needs of our customers, but we want to mitigate the potential for more severe conditions that could lead to stricter conservation measures later this month and into the fall.”
DEP issued the drought declaration on Aug. 31, with the support of the Commonwealth Drought Task Force, based on public water supply levels and data related to four indicators: precipitation, surface water flow, groundwater level and soil moisture. According to DEP, a drought watch declaration is the first and least severe level of the state’s three drought classifications.
Pennsylvania American Water offers the following tips for conserving water inside and outside your home:
- Run dishwashers and clothes washers only when they are full. If you have a water-saver cycle, use it.
- Regularly check your toilet, faucets, and pipes for leaks with our free leak detection kits. If you find a leak, have it fixed as soon as possible.
- Install water-saving showerheads, toilets and faucet aerators.
- Consider water and energy-efficient appliances. Products and services that have earned the WaterSense label have been certified to be at least 20 percent more efficient without sacrificing performance.
- Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth or washing dishes in the sink.
- Water your lawn only when it needs it. When you do, water in the early morning or evening to reduce evaporation.
- Use a broom instead of a hose to clean your sidewalk, driveway or patio.
- Set up a rain barrel to be ready to repurpose rain when it does fall. For information, see this Penn State Extension guide.