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East Lyme - As residents face another summer of restricted water use, plans are moving forward on a water project that would make such practices unnecessary in the future.
The Board of Selectmen will hold a public hearing later this month on summertime restrictions that would limit water use between 9 a.m. on Fridays and noon on Mondays effective June 28.
But First Selectman Paul Formica said at a meeting Wednesday that this would hopefully be the last summer for these measures, due to the new regional water interconnection project between East Lyme and New London.
The town typically experiences water shortfalls during the summer months, especially as more residents spend the season in town and increase the demand on the town's wells. Since two of the town's seven wells are located adjacent to streams, the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection requires the town to turn off those two wells if stream levels fall too low during the summer months, Formica said in an interview. At the same time, the town's population increases from about 16,000 to 30,000 in the summer months, he said.
Under the interconnection project, East Lyme would send excess water to New London from mid-September to mid-May. In return, New London would send water to East Lyme during the summer. At a 2011 referendum, voters approved $10.9 million for the project.
The interconnection water project will extend the current water pipe up to a 400,000-gallon water tank in Montville and then eventually travel along Route 85 to Lake Konomoc, New London's reservoir.
This week, the state authorized the town to award bids to the contractors for the project, according to Formica.
The town's Water and Sewer Commission had approved three bids last month, contingent upon state Department of Public Health approval, to construct the water transmission main, storage tank and pump stations, as recommended by Tighe & Bond of Westfield, Mass., the engineering firm that designed the project.
The commission had approved bids for Bristol-based D'Amato Construction Co. to construct the water pump stations for $1.9 million; Ohio-based Mid-Atlantic Storage Systems to construct the water storage tank for $1.3 million; and Haluch Water Contracting of Ludlow, Mass., to construct the water transmission main for $3.7 million.
Formica said the anticipated construction cost of the project, which also received funding from subsidies, came in under bid.
The public hearing on the water conservation measures will be 7 p.m. May 15. The measures would prohibit watering lawns; washing vehicles or outdoor buildings, sidewalks and driveways; cleaning or filling swimming pools with water; and serving water to restaurant customers, unless specifically requested, during those hours.