Written by Rich Forestano Friday, 16 July 2010 00:00
The heat has been blazing, the sun hasn’t helped and Mother Nature hasn’t spared a drop or two of her tears to help out in the heat wave that has rocked Long Island in 2010. Mineola has.
Mineola’s Department of Water has pumped over 122 million gallons of water in June to combat the summer’s heat wave. In June 2009, it pumped 83 million gallons.
On July 6 alone, 5.6 million gallons of water was pumped. The last time that much water was pumped on a single day was in 2005, according to department head Frederick Booher. From the last week in June until July 6, the village had been pumping an average of 4 million gallons of water a day.
“We’ve been using a lot of water this year,” he said. “A lot more in the last two weeks or so. I’d like to reassure people that we have enough water and that we can get it to people. The village water system has the storage ability and is built to handle it.”
The monitoring system the village uses to track the water usage aids the department of water in making sure the village doesn’t dry up. The system also monitors flow rate, system pressure levels, chlorine levels and can remotely turn on and off water flow from the main building.
However, Booher said the people who use their sprinkler systems on the wrong days aren’t helping. The water department added that it has been extracting water as deep as 400 feet into the ground to handle the summer’s demand for water.
Mineola’s sprinkler ordinance requires residences not to use the sprinkler systems from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It was enacted in 1987 by Nassau County and adopted by the village in 1988. Odd numbered houses can water on odd numbered days, while even numbered houses can water on even numbered days at any other time during a day.
“It’s in effect all year,” Booher said of the ordinance. “We found that demand starts to dip around 10 a.m. and pick up around five or six o’clock so the ordinance seems sensible.”
The village water system consists of five active wells, which have been heavily drained during this heat-stricken summer. Booher said that distributing the water equally has been difficult, but for the most part it has been even. The wells are located on Elm Place, Eighth Avenue, Westbury Avenue, Washington Avenue and Roselle Street.
“We have the capacity to get the water out to people, he said. “We’re certainly not in a drought. It would take drastic events for that to occur in Mineola and other villages as well.”
“Given the event, if there was an electrical issue like a blackout, we have generators with the capacity to have our pumps functioning so that residents still get water,” Mayor Jack Martins concluded.
The village has generators to maintain the power to run the pumps. Booher said they’re on standby and ready if an event like the 2003 blackout occurs.
“That was a brutal time,” he said. “But we had running water. The standby power generators are always available. We’re doing better compared to other districts.”