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Northampton eases water ban policy at night

Northampton has eased its restrictions on water use between the hours of 5 p.m. and 9 a.m. because the city has met a state threshold on water usage.
FILE PHOTO

Northampton has eased its restrictions on water use between the hours of 5 p.m. and 9 a.m. because the city has met a state threshold on water usage. FILE PHOTO Purchase photo reprints »

— It will now be easier for residents to use water in the evening and early morning hours when the city calls for a water restriction during the summer months.

At its last meeting, the Board of Public Works eased the restrictions on water use between the hours of 5 p.m. and 9 a.m. when the city is under a water ban.

A water ban, when called, will continue to prohibit nonessential water use between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Nonessential water use includes irrigation of lawns, other than by a hand-held hose, washing of vehicles and buildings, parking lots and driveways.

Acceptable water uses outside the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. include irrigation to establish a lawn, irrigation of public parks and recreational fields, and irrigation of lawns, gardens, flowers and plants by hand-held hose only.

The city is able to ease the rules because it has met a threshold set by the state based on water usage. DPW Director Ned Huntley said the city’s water use was less than 65 residential gallons per person each day in 2012. He said the city has met the threshold for a few reasons. Many residents are simply using less water than in the past, in part because of conservation but also because of several water bans the city has had to put in place.

Huntley anticipates the city will need to call for more water restrictions this summer, just as it has every year since the water restriction policy went into place in 2010.

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