Rainfall welcome but public and private water supplies might need more

NORWICH, Conn. (WTNH) — The Yantic River which has flooded in the past is in no danger of doing it now. The river is several feet down and so are Norwich Public Utilities’ two water supplies because of the drought.

norwich drought npu Rainfall welcome but public and private water supplies might need moreLast month News 8 went to NPU’s Deep River Reservoir in Lebanon which was at sixty percent capacity then.

“It’s down probably another 7 or 8 percent,” says NPU Spokesperson Chris Riley. “Again 53 percent is troubling to us. At this point we typically see our supply increasing.”

But not this fall which saw little rainfall until Tuesday.

“It’s certainly helpful but it’s not nearly helpful enough,” says Riley.norwich drought yantic river Rainfall welcome but public and private water supplies might need more

At 53 percent capacity NPU’s water supply is well below its five year average but it still has a billion gallons of water which is enough for almost 200 days.

“I have a rain gauge and we got an inch and a half here overnight and that was welcome,” says Alan Hantman of Norwich. He is on a private well and has made an extra effort to conserve this year because he doesn’t want his supply to run dry.

norwich drought well Rainfall welcome but public and private water supplies might need more“My neighbor right here had to drill another well and that scared me,” says Hantman.

NPU has put off non-critical maintenance work to conserve water and is preparing to activate its emergency well. Its customers large and small can also make a difference collectively.

“If you take a shorter shower, if you run a full dishwasher once as opposed to twice during the day, if you’re careful about only doing a full load of laundry, those sort of things add up when you’re looking at a community of forty thousand,” says Riley.

By early afternoon Wednesday rain started falling again and was expected to get heavier overnight. Chris Riley says a very smart person said that it would take ten days of this type of rain to make any real difference. Right now they’re on day two but day three is not expected.

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