Effective immediately, the City of Northampton Department of Public Works (DPW) is implementing a water use restriction for users of the Northampton Public Water Supply. The City’s water supply system is regulated by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). DEP requires that water restrictions be implemented when stream-flow in the Mill River drops below a certain quantity of flow (26.3 cubic feet per second) for a consecutive 3-day period OR when the Massachusetts Drought Task Force declares drought conditions at a drought advisory level or higher. At this time, the Massachusetts Drought Task Force has declared a drought advisory level for the Connecticut River Valley region. This declaration requires that water restrictions be implemented limiting non-essential water use to ensure a sustainable water supply and to protect stream flow for aquatic life.
An immediate ban on nonessential outdoor water use is required. The water uses banned include:
- Irrigation of lawns and watering of gardens, flowers, and ornamental plants by means of sprinklers or other automatic means;
o Irrigation by means of a handheld hose is permissible, but only before 9AM and after 5PM.
- Washing of vehicles, other than by commercial car wash;
- Washing of exterior building surfaces, parking lots, driveways or sidewalks;
o Except as needed to apply paint, preservatives, stucco, pavement or cement.
The Drought Task Force will meet on Tuesday, May 9, 2017, to reevaluate the drought conditions in Massachusetts. The water restriction can be lifted when the stream flow rises for 7 consecutive days OR when the DEP Drought Task Force declares the Connecticut River Valley region’s drought status at a normal level. The City will notify the public when and/or if the water restriction is lifted. Please visit the DPW website at www.northamptonma.gov/dpw for water conservation tips.
Any person found violating these water restrictions is subject to the fines established in Chapter 325 and Chapter 40 of the City Ordinances. These fines are $100 for the first violation and $200 for the second and subsequent violations.