The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) has issued a drought watch across multiple counties including Centre. The declaration is in response to low stream flows, declining groundwater levels, and below-normal precipitation primarily across counties in the northern and eastern portions of Pennsylvania.
Residents are asked to reduce water use by 5%-10% through voluntary conservation measures.
Ways to conserve water at home:
• Run water only when necessary. Don’t let the faucet run while brushing your teeth or shaving. Shorten the time you let the water run to warm up before showering.
• Run the dishwasher and washing machine less often, and only with full loads.
• Water your garden in the cooler evening or morning hours, and direct the water to the ground at the base of the plant, so you don’t waste water through evaporation.
• Water your lawn only if necessary. Apply no more than 1 inch of water per week (use an empty can to determine how long it takes to water 1 inch). Avoid watering on windy and hot days. This pattern will encourage healthier, deeper grass roots. Over-watering is wasteful, encourages fungal growth and disease, and results in shallow, compacted root systems that are more susceptible to drought.
• When mowing your lawn, set the blades to 2-3 inches high. Longer grass shades the soil, improving moisture retention. It also grows thicker and develops a deeper root system, so it can better survive drought.
• Check for and repair household leaks. For example, a leaking toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water daily.
• Sweep your sidewalk, deck, or driveway instead of hosing it off.
• Replace older appliances with high-efficiency, front-loading models that use about 30 percent less water and 40-50 percent less energy.
• Install low-flow plumbing fixtures and aerators on faucets.
• Set up a rain barrel to be ready to repurpose rain when it does fall.
For more information please use the Drought Information Center on PA DEP’s website : https://www.dep.pa.gov/business/water/planningconservation/drought/pages/default.aspx