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Drop in water supply forces Bristol, Groton into water restrictions

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BRISTOL -- The city of Bristol is asking community members to restrict their water use.

The city's reservoirs have declined to 70 percent capacity, and there's no rain forecasted in the immediate future, which means water levels will continue to drop.

Fox CT's meteorologists say there is a drought in most of the state, ranging anywhere from 5 inches in Windsor Locks all the way to 15 inches in the most southeastern corner.

The mayor's office is requesting residents and businesses limit the amount of outside water use and adhere to the policy of odd/even watering, which means that street addresses with odd numbers water on odd dates and vice versa.

The policy applies to washing cars, watering flowers and other non-essential water use.

However, while Bristol has a voluntary water restriction in place, the town of Groton's Water Department is issuing mandatory water restrictions. In Groton, all outside irrigation and all non-essential water use is prohibited "until further notice," according to a message from the town.

The restriction only applies to Groton residents, not West Groton water customers.

Over the past month in Bristol, the Water Department has worked to identify ways to increase supply. Key areas included suspending the annual hydrant flushing program, increasing its supply from wells and increasing its supply from a connection with the city of New Britain on Stafford Avenue.

The Water Department also reached out to large users such ESPN, Lake Compounce, two golf courses, the parks and public works departments, and the Board of Education, among others, to restrict water use, and all have offered immediate assistance.

Mayor Kenneth Cockayne says the Water Department is working in close communication with the Department of Public Health.

"The water levels at the reservoirs and wells will continue to be monitored regularly to assure that the levels are stabilizing before mandatory restrictions would be required," he said.

The last time the Bristol Water Department issued mandatory restrictions was in 2002, when reservoirs dropped to nearly 50 percent capacity.

Anyone with questions on the restrictions or the city's water supply can contact the Bristol Water Department at 860-582-7431.

Information can be found online by clicking here.