Drought upside: It’s better than shoveling snow
Updated: July 22, 2012 7:47PM
It’s 90-plus degrees outside and Anthony LaBanco is working up a sweat to save his lawn.
The 50-plus-year Elmwood Park resident was out Friday afternoon mowing his lawn and his neighbor’s lawn as well as well. He also makes sure the grass is watered regularly.
High temperatures in the 90s over the past several weeks have resulted in a drought with only little rainfall in the forecast. So that means dry lawns and frustrated homeowners.
“Some lawns have been burnt up like crazy,” he said. “My neighbor bought brand new sod and he’s been praying for rain.”
LaBanco, 56, who lives on 1800 block of 74th Court, said he’s been making sure his lawn gets watered regularly. He said neighbors often call on him to make sure their lawns are watered when they are not around to do it themselves.
He just considers it being a good neighbor.
Dino Braglia, director of Elmwood Park Public Works Department, which oversees the village’s water department, said every year they have restrictions on when residents can water their lawns.
“We have a water usage ban that went into effect May 15 and goes until Sept. 15,” Braglia said.
Residents can’t water their lawn between noon and 6 p.m. On odd days of the week those residents who live on the side of the street where their address ends in an odd number can water their lawns before or after the restricted time and residents who live on the even side of the street can do the same on even days.
He said the restriction is to make sure the village has adequate water pressure, and they are currently using only one of the four water pumps available.
“You’re starting to see other pumps turn on,” he said. “Pump one is working the majority of the time, but sometimes pump two will turn on with this hot weather especially on the weekends.”
But he is no stranger to the hot dry weather as well. “My line is burnt up,” he said.
Gina Pesko, charter member of Elmwood Park Garden club, has relied on barrels to harvest rainwater to water her plants and garden first instead of using the hose, but the dry weather has outlasted her supply. She hopes that some rain comes soon.
“It’s been rough, hopefully the gardens won’t suffer too much since we have a garden walk coming July 14,” she said.
“My plants have to be watered everyday, especially for the ones in containers,” she said. “They have to be watered once a day or maybe twice a day. It’s hard to get them back once they reach that point of no return.”
She said green lawns, healthy gardens and flowers around a home makes the block look good as well as the community.
“You just keep fighting the drought,” LaBanco said. “It’s (hot weather) is not too bad. I’d rather water the lawn than shovel snow.”