The Riverhead Water District, which last week imposed odd/even-day watering restrictions on businesses and residents is now asking customers to refrain from watering lawns and landscapes between midnight and 8 a.m.

The restrictions will remain in place until Labor Day, Town Supervisor Sean Walter said.

Irrigation should also be avoided during the day, both because it’s inefficient and ineffective and because other daytime water demands need to be met.

Customers are urged to water only in the early evening hours, up until midnight, Walter said.

The water district is struggling to fill its storage tanks, Walter said. The tanks are usually filled up during the overnight hours and depleted during the day. Their storage levels have been consistently depleted with daytime use and irrigation systems kicking on at 3 or 4 a.m. prevent the district from refilling them.

The district has been pumping more than 18 million gallons a day — at or near its system capacity. It’s pumping “flat-out,” the supervisor said.  On Saturday, the town ramped up its pleas for conservation and announced it was cutting the water supply to its largest irrigation consumers — a handful of senior communities and shopping centers that have segregated irrigation-only systems.

A state-wide drought watch has been in effect in New York since July 15.

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