Rockland nursery says it's being impacted by county's water use restriction
Some businesses are being impacted by the water use restriction that is officially in effect in Rockland after a month with little to no rain.
While most people can go a couple of days without watering their lawns, Celetti Nursery relies entirely on being able to do that twice a day.
"I'm very nervous. Very scared," says manager Tina Celetti-Ostrander.
It has been a trying summer for Celetti-Ostrander. The lack of rain in the last month is taking a toll on her ability to sell plants.
"It's harder because we have to water twice a day just to maintain for the plants to be sellable," Celetti-Ostrander says.
The water use restriction requires nurseries to apply a water conservation plan to reduce water usage by 10%.
Celetti-Ostrander relies on an underground drain system to capture any excess water to redistribute to the plants. But it is not a long-term solution.
Her business needs the rain.
There is no end in sight for Rockland environmental health officials who fear ongoing dry conditions could lead to tougher mandates.
"We want to avoid getting into a Stage 3 drought, where there would be no lawn watering allowed at all," says director of Rockland Environmental Health Sam Rulli.
County officials say the next four to five weeks are likely to be tough and will determine if even stricter mandates are necessary.
But for Celetti-Ostrander and business owners like hers, each day that passes without rain is an anxiously slow drip towards trouble.
County officials are responding to reports of violations and can fine people $2,000 a day per violation.
They also warned the next month will be critical. One official says he believes the county will reach a higher water emergency level by the end of the month.