Although reservoirs are currently full, six Fairfield county towns \u2014 not including Ridgefield, at least for now \u2014 are subject to outdoor use water restrictions from Aquarion Water Company, with Westport and Newtown added this spring to a previous list of four towns where lawn watering was allowed just two days a week, and only at night or in the early morning hours. \u201cCurrently there are no restrictions on any Ridgefield users. But we are encouraging all of our customers to start adapting,\u201d said Aquarion spokesman Peter Fazekas. Homes in Ridgefield and several other Fairfield County towns served by Aquarion are supplied by a system that draws water from a series of eight reservoirs, and also wells. \u00a0 \u201cThe system is full, which is normal for this time of year. It will draw down over the summer months,\u201d Fazekas said. \u201cOver the last several summers, rainfall has been well below normal during the summer months and reduced the amount of water available in these reservoirs.\u201d Aquarion customers in New Canaan, Stamford, Darien and Greenwich have been limited to a schedule of twice weekly limits on outdoor water use since April of 2017, when the company adopted its own water use rules after the state Department of Public Health lifted emergency water restrictions that it had kept in place since the drought of 2016. And this spring Aquarion added Westport and Newtown. Ridgefield, too, will eventually have water use restrictions, according to Fazekas, who said towns are being added to the list in a measured way because the program includes active enforcement efforts that require company resources. \u201cWe will be adding towns each year,\u201d he said. The program for the six towns on water restrictions involves even numbered homes being allocated two days a week when they\u2019re allowed to water lawns, and odd-numbered houses being assigned two other days when watering is permitted. \u201cWe will be adding towns each year to those restrictions \u00a0\u2014 that\u2019s in coordination with the town and in coordination with Department of Public Health and our regulator PURA (Public Utility Regulatory Authority),\u201d Fazekas said. The restrictions on \u201coutdoor water use\u201d are focused on sprinkler systems \u2014 not car washing, or someone standing in the yard spraying with a hose, according to Fazekas. \u201cThe restrictions only apply to irrigation systems and hose-end sprinklers,\u201d he said. \u201cCustomers can use drip irrigation, they can use soaker hoses any time they like. If you have a hand-held sprayer, you can use that any time you like it.\u201d Aquarion also offers customers in the six towns with water use limits \u201chigh-efficiency variances\u201d to their sprinkling rules. People can be exempted if they have an irrigation system with an EPA-approved \u201cwater sense\u201d controller that is connected to \u201creal time weather\u201d information and adjusts sprinkling schedules. Such a system \u201cknows it\u2019s going to rain in two days\u201d it\u2019s not going to water the lawn, Fazekas said. Property owners can qualify for the variances if the have a sophisticated system like that, and reduce their water use by 20%. \u201cWe would conduct an audit of that system before we grant the variance,\u201d Fazekas said. \u201cIt\u2019s very high tech. This is new this year, the variance offering. The whole point of this is we want customers to irrigate efficiently, and not waste water.\u201d Long term While last year had more rain than the drought year, 2016, water remains a long term concern. \u201cOur demand for potable water continues to increase, most notably during the summer months due to the number of irrigation systems that have been installed, especially down county,\u201d First Selectman Rudy Marconi said. Aquarion\u2019s reservoirs are mostly full \u2014 but it\u2019s spring and that\u2019s expected. \u201cThey were full the year of the drought, at this time of year,\u201d Fazekas said. \u201cIt\u2019s the summer months that draw down the reservoirs, especially when it\u2019s combined with no rainfall, or low rainfall. \u201cSo, the restrictions are to keep the reservoirs as high as possible during those summer months, so there\u2019s adequate water for human consumption and fire protection,\u201d he said. And while lawn irrigation systems may be more common in Stamford and Greenwich, Aquarion\u2019s tracking of seasonal changes in water use show that lawn watering is a problem here, too. \u201cIf I\u2019m looking at single family homes in Ridgefield, the top 10% of our customers in that category are using 37% of their water on outdoor water use,\u201d Fazekas said. \u201cThey\u2019re using 218 gallons per person per day, which is high in comparison to the national average of 88 gallons per day,\u201d he said. \u201cA lot of that irrigation water is wasted,\u201d Fazekas added. \u201cYou\u2019ll see sprinkler systems on the day before it pours. Also the fact they\u2019re watering in the middle of the day \u2014 which does not make sense because 50% of that water evaporates.\u201d In the six towns where Aquarion has water restrictions in place, there are watering hours in addition to the two-days a week schedule. Water is permitted from midnight to 6 a.m., or from 6 p.m. to midnight \u2014 never in the sunny middle of the day. \u201cYou need to water later afternoon into evening, and early morning,\u201d Fazekas said. \u201cWe\u2019re encouraging all of our customers to use this schedule. Obviously it\u2019s only mandatory in the six towns.\u201d Announcing water use restrictions in Newtown this spring, Aquarion said: \u201cThe EPA and other experts identify the overuse of outdoor irrigation as a major source of strain on local water supplies, while providing no benefit to lawns and gardens. Darien, Greenwich, New Canaan and Stamford put twice-weekly irrigation limits in place last spring and saved 860 million gallons of water.\u201d Ridgefield systems Most of Aquarion\u2019s 3,300 water customers in town are on the main Ridgefield system \u2014 serving the village and central Ridgefield. The Ridgefield main system is hooked into Aquarion\u2019s southwest regional pipeline, which draws from a system of three linked reservoirs, the Hemlocks Reservoir in Fairfield, Aspetuck Reservoir in Easton and Saugatuck Reservoice in Weston and Redding. The main Ridgefield system also draws from the Canal Street and Coleytown wells in Westport. That\u2019s part of the \u201cGreater Bridgeport system,\u201d which has five other reservoirs \u2014 Easton Lake in Easton, Trap Falls, Far Mill and Means Brook, all in Shelton. The system has a storage capacity of close to 19.5 billion gallons of water. It once served the high water demand of Bridgeport\u2019s heyday as a manufacturing center. This Bridgeport system today shares water with down-county towns through the Southwest Regional pipeline \u2014 and water is being pumped regularly into the Ridgefield, Darien, New Canaan and Stamford distribution systems. The Ridgefield main water system also draws water from local wells: the Oscaleta, North Street and Beechwood well fields in Ridgefield \u2014 sources acquired decades back as part of the former Ridgefield Water Supply Company. Over the years Aquarion has also acquired several smaller neighborhood water systems in Ridgefield, The systems, often put in by housing developers, include the Ridgefield Knolls, Craigmoor, Scodon and Turner Hill neighborhoods. According to Fazekas: the Ridgefleld Knolls water system has six wells, known as the Topstone wells. The Scodon system is served by four wells in Miry Brook aquifer. The Craigmoor has a well from the Titicus River aquifer. And Turner Hill, in northernmost Ridgefield, gets its water from the City of Danbury\u2019s municipal water system.