In July 2016, the Massachusetts Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs issued a Drought Watch for the Central Drought Region (in which Northbridge and Sutton are located) based on advice from the Massachusetts Drought Management Task Force. A drought watch is the third highest of five levels of drought conditions. More details of this drought watch declaration can be found at http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/dcr/water-res-protection/water-data-tracking/drought-status.html.
In Northbridge, we started the year with a 7.5” precipitation deficit (below average) from last year. So far in 2016 we are an additional 5.8” below average for precipitation. That is more than 13” below average for the past year and a half. Most notably, the past two months have been extremely dry. We received a total of only 1.98” for all of June and so far we have only received 1.8” in July. During this dry spell, we have been pumping higher than normal volumes of water. Because of the current drought conditions, the Whitinsville Water Company is issuing a Stage 1 Water Restriction to customers on the Whitinsville Water Company and Town of Northbridge water systems. The water restrictions will be effective Friday July 29th. A Stage 1 Water Restriction entails a voluntary restriction on all non-essential outdoor water to odd/even days. This means that if your house number is an even number (ends in 0,2,4,6,or 8) , we would ask that you only water on even dates either before 9am or after 5pm on that day. And if you house number is an odd number (ends in 1,3,5,7 or 9), we would ask that you only water on odd dates either before 9am or after 5pm on that day. If you have a shared irrigation system, we ask that you set the timer to run only on even days either before 9am or after 5pm.
Examples of “Nonessential” outdoor water uses include:
- irrigation of lawns via sprinklers or automatic irrigation systems;
- washing of vehicles, except in a commercial car wash or as necessary for operator safety; and
- washing of exterior building surfaces, parking lots, driveways or sidewalks, except as necessary to apply surface treatments such as paint, preservatives, stucco, pavement or cement.
Examples of water uses that may be allowed:
- irrigation to establish a new lawn and new plantings during the months of May and September;
- irrigation of public parks and recreational fields by means of automatic sprinklers outside the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and
- irrigation of lawns, gardens, flowers and ornamental plants by means of a hand-held hose.
Examples of water uses NOT subject to mandatory restrictions:
- for health and safety reasons;
- by regulation;
- for the production of food and fiber;
- for the maintenance of livestock; or
- to meet the core functions of a business (for example, irrigation by golf courses as necessary to maintain tees, greens, and limited fairway watering, or irrigation by plant nurseries as necessary to maintain stock).
Violators of the water restrictions will be subject to the Water Companies Water Restriction Regulations, which may include termination of water service.
For more information please contact the Whitinsville Water Company at 508-234-7358.