Croton by the numbers: 400,000,000 gallons a year
Croton-on-Hudson is unusual in having its own large, public water supply drawn from high yield wells deep beneath the Croton River. Most municipalities in Westchester must buy water from New York City’s supply, rely on a host of private or nonprofit water companies, or require you to dig your own well. Our well field is located on Route 129 and has been providing Villagers with clean drinking water for at least three generations. The current wells, between 55 and 60 feet deep, tap an aquifer whose layers of glacial gravel and sand filter the water naturally on its way to our faucets.
How much water do we draw from the village’s well field? Annual tallies from Village Engineer Dan O’Connor indicate we draw an average of 400 million gallons of potable water each year. In short, that means we use just over 1 million gallons per day, when averaged over the course of the year. The Village has 2,395 water customers, including several large accounts, such as the MTA’s Croton Harmon Yard, as well as over two thousand residential accounts.
In the winter, daily water use falls to 800,000 gallons per day or less, or roughly 330 gallons per account daily. As we know from this summer’s drought, water use parallels outdoor air temperature closely. In early July 2010, as temperatures rose to nearly 100 degrees F, water use by village residents and businesses rose to as high as 1.8 million gallons per day, or roughly 750 gallons per account daily.
As our Water Foreman Tom Brann explained, we were pulling water out of our storage tank on Hessian Hill faster than we could pump it uphill from the wells to the tank. It is important to live within our means. Therefore the VIllage imposed water use restrictions for July and August, which were lifted in September due to lowered water demand.
I deeply appreciate the immediate cooperation that all our water customers–large and small–showed in working with the Village to ensure a steady water supply was available for everyone. Thank you for responding so well by lowering consumption!
To ensure a steady water supply in the future, the Village purchased some additional land a few years ago adjacent to the existing well fields as a potential location for a future well or water works expansion. This summer work began on boring Well #5. Once operational, this new well will offer extra capacity in periods of high demand. But, more importantly, Well #5 will allow us to meet our normal demand when one of the three older wells is out of service for repairs or maintenance.
Clean, safe, affordable water is a critical resource for any municipality. Anything we can do to conserve water helps us all, from watering our gardens from a rain barrel to installing low flow aerators on our shower heads. Staying well below usage spikes, like this summer’s extraordinary 4th of July weekend drawdown, will go a long way in keeping our future operation and maintenance costs within our fiscal means.
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