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Committee gets deadline on Shelter Island underground sprinkler ban

Shelter Island Town Hall. (July 26, 2012)

Shelter Island Town Hall. (July 26, 2012) Credit: Randee Daddona

When Shelter Island’s town board put off implementing a ban on underground sprinklers — people who already had those sprinklers had 10 years to use them before the ban was to take effect — it created a special committee to look into the impact of underground sprinklers, how they affect the island’s fragile underground water supply and whether those effects can be reduced by new technologies.

Now, that committee has a deadline: It is to give the town board a preliminary report on Dec. 3, long before the new sprinkler ban deadline of May 1, 2014.

The original ban was to have taken effect on Sept. 1, but it was postponed because second-home owners, lawn care contractors and others said new irrigation systems did not waste as much water as older ones.

That few people irrigate their lawns in the winter was also considered in postponing the ban.

The town’s Irrigation Committee will be holding five public meetings before the Dec. 3 deadline, all at 7 p.m. in Town Hall.

At its meeting on Sept. 26, the group plans to discuss holding an additional meeting on a Saturday or Sunday, so that people who do not live on Shelter Island full time can attend. The other meetings are on Oct. 10, Oct. 24, Nov. 7 and Nov. 21.

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