continued “People in Rotterdam take a lot of pride in ownership of their houses and landscaping and rightly so … but it comes to the point where they’re just not obeying all our sprinkling regulations and that creates a high demand,” he said. “If they would sprinkle when we ask them to … it wouldn’t be so bad, but people just seem to water continuously in Rotterdam at times during hot conditions.”
The sprinkling regulations for Rotterdam residents within Water Districts 3 and 5 are effective from May 1 to Nov. 1. The restrictions allow lawn sprinkling from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. only for even numbered houses on even days and conversely for odd numbered properties.
In extended dry weather safety becomes the biggest concerns, Collins said, and leads to the town to issue water bans. When water reserves drop too low, there isn’t adequate pressure for firefighters to draw water.
“If there was a major fire, you want to have your tanks full, you wants to have tons of pressure to fight fires,” he said. “Somebody could lose their house … they have to think about those aspects of why we ask them to do this.”
Rotterdam, unlike surrounding communities, doesn’t meter individual water usage and has an all-you-can-drink approach to billing, with homeowners charged $25 annually. Supervisor Harry Buffardi said the town is planning to stick to that system.
“We are not looking at meters, but we are looking at the actual cost of delivering the water and upgrading the infrastructure to not having these failures,” Buffardi said. “I think Rotterdam’s water is much cheaper than any place else.”
Since metering water “is not even on the horizon,” Buffardi said, the town might increase its annual water fee in the future depending on its analysis of costs.