An outdoor water ban remains in effect for Abington (and Rockland) as demand remains high and work nears completion on the Myers Avenue water treatment plant.
Home and business owners have been prohibited from watering their lawns and gardens since June 18. The Abington/Rockland Joint Water Works instituted the ban after realizing the water level in its underground reserve well was dropping steadily.
The department was initially concerned there was an undetected leak somewhere in the system. But now it believes the problem was caused by higher usage as a result of more residents working and staying at home, combined with the Meyers Avenue well being offline for scheduled upgrades.
“The ban definitely helped,” said Water Works Superintendent Joe LaPointe.
The underground reserve tank, referred to as a clear well, provides the water system with a buffer during peak usage hours — think morning showers and evening meal prep. Normally, the water level inside the massive tank is about 10 feet deep. Currently, the water level is between eight and nine feet deep, and drops to as low as six feet during the day.
“We’re still seeing higher than typical water usage,” LaPointe said, adding that the treatment plants continue to operate “24/7” in order to catch up overnight.
The Myers Avenue treatment plant, which is the smallest of the system’s three plants, has been offline for several weeks as the department rebuilds one of its filter beds in order to meet more stringent water quality standards. LaPointe said testing will begin in about two weeks.
When the plant is operational, LaPointe said it’s uncertain if the water ban will be lifted. Part of it depends whether the region can shake the drier-than-normal conditions.