Ithaca water usage down, supply up, after conservation and rain

“We’re not out of the woods yet,” says Ithaca’s acting mayor, Deb Mohlenhoff, but some rain the last few days and a noticeable drop in water usage have helped the drought situation. “Keep up the great work,” Deb says.

City of Ithaca water flow rates through Sunday. Chart courtesy Ithaca DPW.

City of Ithaca water flow rates through Sunday. Chart courtesy Ithaca DPW.

Ithaca’s water conservation tips no doubt helped. People are watering their lawns less or not at all, taking shorter showers and turning the water off while they lather or brush their teeth, and capturing water that would otherwise go to waste if they have to run it for a few minutes to clear the brown water coming out of the taps.

A chart released by Ithaca’s Department of Public Works on Monday shows usage down the last few days, especially for Sunday. Challenging Ithacans to keep the orange line below the blue line might just be doing the trick!

There’s only a little more rain in the forecast for the next several days, though, so it’s important to keep conserving water.

As for the brown water coming out of Ithaca faucets, city officials still refuse to say what they’ll do (if anything) to cover residents’ expenses. If you’re buying drinking water or have to replace clothing damaged in the laundry, keep your receipts.

What could turn into a real problem is that hot water heaters can be seriously damaged by water with all these extra minerals. You can minimize the risk by not running your hot water until the cold water runs clear, but the damage may already be done. Ithaca’s Dan Cogan has already said the City will not be reimbursing water purchases. They’ll probably resist repairing or replacing damaged water heaters, too.

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