Water Company clarifies

Fri, 02/25/2022 - 2:15am

To the Editor,

The article, “Block Island Water Company considers conservation measures,” (Feb. 4), stated in its first paragraph, “The Block Island Water and Sewer Commissions approved a new water allocation for Salt Pond Settlement despite having denied at least three allocation applications from commercial water users last month.” This gives the wrong impression that the Water Company ignored its own guidelines to approve a water allocation that was similar to the ones that were denied.
While the article does state later on that the approved allocation was for a fire suppression system, which is what it was for, we know that often people don’t read carefully, or even past the few paragraphs.

Fire suppression allocation/systems are a “standby service,” are a health and safety issue, and protect the community to save both life and property from a catastrophic event. The amount allocated to a fire suppression system is a “standby figure” only and is not utilized unless there is a fire and hopefully, never will be needed.
While the Water Company is beginning an important discussion on long range needs and water conservation, to deny water allocation for fire suppression purposes would be ill advised, nor are we ruling against standard single home usage allocation. It only becomes a problem when the amounts being requested exceed what is currently safely available to the public based on our current capacity, which is why we are in the process of expanding our abilities in a safe,
and more important, timely manner for all who need it.
On a side note, Block Island Water Company also stated that water-cooled compressors utilize large amounts of water for cooling, and we were discussing the idea of advising against using or installing these. With regard to “ice machines,” the large majority of these machines currently on Block Island are air-cooled.
Thank you for allowing us to clear things up and we look forward to more communication and reporting.

Brad Marthens
Block Island Water Company