Stage II Water Emergency Remains in Effect Despite Rainfall


A three-day deluge that dropped 2.48 inches of much-needed rain over Rockland County helped recharge reservoirs but was not enough to end water restrictions.

The Stage II Water Emergency declared July 21 by Commissioner of Health Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert remains in effect.

“We still have to be extremely careful with our water usage,” said Rockland County Executive Ed Day. “We’re not out of the woods yet.”

The heavy rain has temporarily delayed more severe Stage III restrictions, said Daniel Miller, Water Supply Program Manager for the Rockland Department of Health.

The rain that began on Friday provided a moderate increase in the level of Potake Pond, a reservoir in Sloatsburg that is used to augment the flow of the Ramapo River to help feed wellfields that supply 20 percent of Rockland’s annual water demands.

It also recharged the river, making it temporarily unnecessary to take water from Potake to augment the flow.

A water emergency was declared last month because the water remaining in Potake had dropped to levels that put our use of those wells in jeopardy.

“This deluge certainly bought us some time, but we are still solidly in a Stage II Water Emergency with water restrictions in place,” said Miller. “Unfortunately, if hot dry weather conditions return, we could be approaching Stage III again in a week or so.”

As a result of the rain, water demand has also dropped over the past three days. Daily demand was as high as 39 million gallons per day last week.

It dropped to 32.1 mgd on Friday, 27.9 on Saturday and 27.7 on Sunday. Most of that drop was from people not watering their lawns and gardens because of the rain.

The rainfall has had another effect: pools of standing water that could attract mosquito breeding. Commissioner of Health Ruppert reminds residents to take the time to survey their property and eliminate pools of standing water where mosquitoes can breed.

Stage II Water Emergency restrictions:


·        Lawns may be watered twice a week only on specified days. Properties with addresses ending in an odd number may water lawns during specific hours only on Mondays and Thursdays. Properties with an even number may water lawns during specific hours on Tuesdays and Fridays.

·        The specified hours are between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. for automatic, in-ground irrigation systems. For manual sprinklers or hose fed irrigation the hours are between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Gardens and landscaped area:

·        Flower gardens, vegetable gardens and landscaped areas (trees, shrubs, potted plants or other outdoor plants) can be watered during specified hours every other day of the month according to property address.

·        Properties with an odd numbered addresses may water on odd days of the month (1, 3, 5, 7, 9, etc.) and properties with an even number may water on even days of the month (2, 4, 6, 8, etc.) We recommend mulching to preserve moisture.
The specified hours are between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m., for automatic, in-ground irrigation systems. For manual sprinklers or hose fed irrigation the hours are between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m.

For the most up-to-date information call 845-364-2608 or visit RCDOH Drought Information web page({ This web page also provides many helpful links on saving water and how to best preserve your landscaping when faced with dry conditions and limits on water use.

There is also a “Drought” category added on the Rockland County Department of Health Complaint Form ( to notify the Health Department if you see water leaks, or if you see water being used outside the allowable schedule.

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