Mayor declares Stage 1 emergency
Despite rain the night before, the City of Beacon on Wednesday (Aug. 31) instituted Stage 1 emergency restrictions for municipal water use. Although the city is primarily drawing water this time of year from its two wells in Fishkill, the restrictions were triggered when Beacon’s three reservoirs dipped to 60 percent capacity. The reservoirs had been near 70 percent a week ago.
“I want to thank the members of our community for helping to mitigate the impacts of these ongoing dry conditions in hopes of preventing further restrictions in the coming weeks,” Mayor Lee Kyriacou said in a statement.
Under city code, residents may water their lawns and gardens only from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. and from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. Vegetables or fruits for human consumption may be watered at any time from a hand-held container.
Commercial users, including nurseries, must reduce their usage by 15 percent.
In addition, the restrictions prohibit the continued use of leaky pipes, faucets, valves or equipment; car washing, except at commercial facilities that recirculate at least 50 percent of their water, or use high-pressure restrictor hoses; washing sidewalks, driveways or outdoor areas; using water for ornamental purposes, such as fountains or ponds; operation of air-conditioning systems in a cooling tower, unless a meter is installed to measure the flow of water to the cooling tower, or the water is recirculated; and operation of air-conditioning systems in excess of 2 tons of rated capacity or any refrigeration unit rated at 10 horsepower or greater, unless equipped with a water-recirculating device.
Residents also may not fill or maintain a swimming pool unless it is operated with recirculating equipment.
Stage 1 Drought Emergency Restrictions
(1) No person or entity shall cause, permit or allow:
(a) The continuing leak or waste from any water pipe, valve, faucet, conduit, equipment, facility, or device connected to the City of Beacon water system, or which utilizes City of Beacon water, on or in any premises owned, leased, managed, operated, or controlled by such person or entity;
(b) The washing of any vehicle by means of a hose, fire hydrant, or other active source connection to the City of Beacon water system, except a commercial vehicle washing operation if equipment has been installed and is utilized so that at least 50 percent of the water used is recirculated by means of a system approved by the Department, or high-pressure restrictor hoses may be used in a coin-operated car wash;
(c) the washing of any street, sidewalk, driveway, outdoor area, outdoor steps, building exterior, or other structures by means of a hose, fire hydrant, or other active source connected to the City of Beacon water system or which utilizes City of Beacon water.
(d) The use of water from any source for any ornamental purpose, including but not limited to use in fountains, artificial waterfalls, reflecting pools, lakes and ponds.
(e) The use of water from the City of Beacon water system to water any lawn, golf course, ornamental shrub, plant, or tree, except that:  City of Beacon water may be used to water any lawn, tree, shrub, garden or golf course, greens and tees only from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. to 11 p.m.  City of Beacon water may be used at any time to irrigate, from a hand-held container, vegetables or fruits for human consumption.  Plant nurseries and other commercial users engaged in the business of growing, distributing, or selling plants may use such water on their business premises for watering ornamental shrubs, plants, or trees, provided that each user reduces its use of water by 15 percent or such other percentages as may (hereafter) be prescribed for nonresidential water users.
(f) The opening or use of any fire hydrant, or of the water there from, for any purpose other than fire protection except in accordance with a permit obtained from the Water Department and only for the period of and the purpose authorized by such permit and in strict adherence to all terms and conditions set forth therein.
(g) The operation of an air-conditioning system utilizing water from the City of Beacon water system in a cooling tower, unless within 30 days from the effective date of this chapter a separate meter is installed to continuously measure the flow of water to the cooling tower or the water is recirculated.
(h) The operation of any air-conditioning system in excess of two tons of rated capacity or greater or any refrigeration unit rated at 10 horsepower or greater using water from the City of Beacon water system unless such air-conditioning system or refrigeration unit is equipped with a water recirculating device approved by the Department.
(i) The use of water from the City of Beacon water system to fill or maintain the water level in any swimming pool, except that, provided the pool is operated with recirculating equipment, City water may be used to fill the pool once during each calendar year and thereafter may be used as necessary to maintain the water level in such pool.
(2) Each nonresidential user of water from the City of Beacon water system shall prepare and retain a water consumption reduction plan enabling it to reduce its use of water in stages of 15 percent, 20 percent and 25 percent based upon its water consumption during the calendar year. Such plans shall be designed to achieve and maintain a reduction of 15 percent, 20 percent or 25 percent immediately upon the declaration of a Stage I, Stage II or Stage III emergency, respectively. Each such user shall promptly implement the first phase of its plan during Stage I and shall reduce its consumption by 15 percent. Each such user shall have its water consumption reduction plan available at all times for inspecting and copying by employees of the department.