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City of New Bedford implements voluntary daytime water restrictions


Seasonal effort will help conserve municipal resources.

The City of New Bedford’s Department of Public Infrastructure is implementing voluntary restrictions on daytime water use to help conserve municipal resources during drought conditions throughout the Northeast.

Water levels in the City’s reservoir and watershed have dipped amid the extended drought this spring and summer, and a consensus of long-term weather forecasts points to continued drought. New Bedford is implementing voluntary, seasonal restrictions on nonessential outdoor water use by residents and businesses. These restrictions will take place immediately and will continue until changed.

The City strongly suggests that residents and businesses adhere to the following guidelines and avoid nonessential watering activities, particularly from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Nonessential watering activities include:

• Irrigation of lawns via sprinklers or automatic irrigation systems
• Washing of vehicles, except in a commercial car wash or as necessary for operator safety
• Washing of exterior building surfaces, parking lots, driveways or sidewalks

Exemptions from the restrictions include:

• Irrigation of lawns, gardens, flowers and plants with a hand-held hose
• Businesses that require water use as a core function of the business
• Reserving nonessential water use, such as watering lawns and gardens, to morning and evening hours increases the efficiency of the water use. Watering lawns and garden during the heat of day is inefficient, as water is more prone to evaporation rather than soaking into soil and lawns. Watering by hand also increases efficiency, as people are more mindful of water usage than they are when using automatic sprinklers.

These are initial measures to help conserve municipal resources. The City will continue to monitor drought conditions and will adjust the measures if necessary.

All water users should limit their nonessential water use throughout the year by implementing practices such as capturing rain in rain barrels, hand-watering, using car washes that recycle water, and installing low-flow water fixtures in their homes.

Southeastern Massachusetts has been at a Level 2 – Significant Drought status since May 1 and is the state’s only region that had a drought warning as of April 1, as set by the state’s Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA).

The City’s Water Division asks that you take the necessary steps to comply with the City’s seasonal restrictions. Questions can be addressed by calling DPI at 508-979-1550.

About Michael Silvia

Served 20 years in the United States Air Force. Owner of New Bedford Guide.

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