As mandated by the town’s water management permit issued by the state to limit nonessential outdoor use, protect stream flow and aquatic life, and ensure sustainable drinking water, the town is required to implement a mandatory state of water supply conservation from May 1 through Sept. 30 each year, pursuant to the town’s water use restriction bylaw.
Under chapter 199-6 Section F, lawn sprinklers may be used for lawn watering two days per week, outside of the hours of 7 a.m.-7 p.m. All other outdoor non-essential use is permitted daily outside the hours of 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Residents in Precincts 1 and 3 may water on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Precincts 2 and 4 may water on Wednesday and Fridays. No lawn watering is allowed on Saturdays, Sundays or Mondays. This only applies to those water services connected to the municipal water system.
A normal lawn only needs about 1 inch of water per week. If rain is expected or has just occurred, sprinkler systems should be shut off for the remainder of the week in order to avoid unnecessary and wasteful water use. Residents should check to ensure that their system is not dispensing more than what is needed during a dry week as well. Due to the twice per week restriction, the common belief is the sprinkler system needs to run for extended hours to maintain a green lawn, but that is not the case. An irrigation company can set sprinklers to maintain the minimum amount required.
It is only with each individual water user’s diligence toward efficient water use that the town will be able to maintain safe water levels for drinking and fire protection in case of prolonged drought. Residents should plan accordingly if trying to establish a new lawn so that there is compliance with these regulations.
Any person violating this by-law shall receive a written warning for the first offense. For the second offense, violators are liable to the town in the amount of $100. For any violations beyond the second offense, water service may be suspended.
The Water Department will be keeping users apprised of the current restriction through several methods, including signs around town, websites, newspapers, cable TV and the CodeRed phone call system for emergencies. Instant department updates will be posted on Twitter — @hopkintonwater — or residents can subscribe to the department’s notice feed at groups.google.com/a/hopkintonma.gov/g/watersewer to receive up-to-date information.
For tips on minimizing water use outdoors, visit the town’s website at hopkintonma.gov.
To determine if rain is on the way or how much rain the town received so sprinkler systems can be adjusted, follow @hopkintonWX on Twitter or check the weather station readings at hopkintonwx.com (click on weather station).