Here’s what you need to know about bulk water restrictions


Water shortages could cause dangerous situations in Massachusetts cities, with no relief in sight.

Sprinklers water the lawn of a Belmont home on Wednesday. Erin Clark / The Globe Staff

As parts of Massachusetts are battling severe drought from a weeklong heatwave, cities across the state are enforcing mandatory restrictions on water use.

With high temperatures and low water levels, dangers have arisen in the cities of Massachusetts. In Pembroke, water levels were so low earlier in the week that it impacted the water pressure in fire hydrants, a situation Fire Chief Jason Viveiros said. The globe of Boston it could be “dangerous” if a fire breaks out.

The city has issued an emergency water ban, asking citizens to “immediately stop using unnecessary water that would be needed in an emergency. This includes, but is not limited to, washing cars, irrigating established lawns and filling swimming pools. ”Violators of the ban would be subject to an unspecified fine.

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To avoid situations like Pembroke, 124 cities currently have mandatory restrictions regulating water use from public suppliers, according to data from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. These restrictions apply to cities, towns and golf courses and vary by water system or community. Typical restrictions include restrictions on hours of the day you can water, days per week, and restrictions on automatic sprinklers or sprinkler systems. In severe cases, they can impose a total ban on outdoor watering.

Some cities, such as Fairhaven, have voluntary restrictions in place. In a statement, the city asked residents to water their lawns every other day to preserve the overall water supply. There is no fine for those who choose not to comply.

That doesn’t mean Massachusetts residents need to fear water use during a drought. Horticulturist and meteorologist Natick Dave Epstein explained that it is possible to follow your city’s water restrictions while protecting your plants.

According to Thursday’s data from the US Drought Monitor, the entire state of Massachusetts is facing some sort of water scarcity, with the western mass classified as “abnormally dry” and the central mass classified as an exposed ” moderate drought “.

Parts of eastern Massachusetts have been updated to a “severe drought” classification since last week. Areas prone to severe drought now include all counties of Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk and Suffolk, as well as parts of Worcester, Bristol and Plymouth counties.

Drought monitoring in the United States

In severe drought conditions, outdoor burn warnings are issued, air and water quality suffer, and trees become fragile and sensitive to insects, according to the monitor.

There is no end in sight of this drought, with warm temperatures continuing to dominate any rain Massachusetts may receive in the near future.

“The summer heat stays with us until next week. Overall, a dry trend prevails with showers / storms only scattered Thu / Fri. No significant relief is expected from ongoing drought conditions, ”Norton’s National Weather Service She said Tuesday.

As for the coming months, WBZ-TV meteorologist Terry Eliasen wrote that we could be “more or less the same”.

“The long-range models suggest a fairly persistent ridge across much of the central and eastern sections of the country … which means warmer and more drought,” he continued. “Our best chance for relief, unfortunately, could come from some kind of tropical system down the road.”

As the heat wave progresses, experts advise Massachusetts residents to follow state and local guidelines, both for public water use and personal safety, until the drought is finally over. .

“It’s no secret that I don’t like heat and drought is providing equal parts of stress to my plants and me,” Epstein wrote in a column for The globe of Boston. “However, I can’t help it, and complaining or worrying is just something my mind has to chew on, so I’m trying not to focus on it and only water what I can until this is all over.”

To see all water restrictions in Massachusetts cities, click here or contact your local community government or public water supplier.

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