Northampton enacts water use restrictions

  • Northampton Department of Public Works GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

For the Gazette
Published: 7/5/2019 11:49:40 PM
Modified: 7/5/2019 11:49:26 PM

The Northampton Department of Public Works announced Friday that it was implementing nonessential water use restrictions, effective immediately. 

Between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., washing buildings, parking lots, driveways and sidewalks are banned except as needed to apply paint, preservatives, stucco, pavement and cement. Washing cars is also banned, except by a commercial car wash. During this time, watering gardens, flowers and other ornamental plants is banned except when using a handheld hose. Irrigation systems may be used outside this time frame.

DPW Director Donna Lascaleia said the restrictions “benefit all users of the public drinking water supply.”

“They’re a way for us to responsibly manage our resources,” she said.

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection regulates Northampton’s water supply. When the streamflow in the Mill River drops below 26.3 cubic feet per second, the DEP requires that water use restrictions be enacted. The ban will be lifted when the streamflow rises above that volume for a week.

Last summer, the DPW issued a similar ban that lasted from June 15 to August 1. Over the last five years, the DPW has put water restrictions in place in May or June. According to a map on the DEP’s website showing current municipal water use restrictions that was last updated June 21, around 60 towns had some kind of water restriction in place, none of which were in western Massachusetts.

Anyone who violates the water use restrictions will be fined $100 for a first offense and $200 dollars a second and any subsequent offenses.

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