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Northeast Mass in ‘significant’ drought, increased water restrictions to take effect in Westford


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REGION — Following lower than normal rainfall since March, the Northeast Region of Massachusetts, which includes Westford, has entered a significant drought, resulting in water restrictions for residents.

Westford enters significant drought

Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Bethany Card announced the change from a mild drought to a significant drought on June 15. She cited deteriorating conditions in many regions within the state.

Precipitation departures from normal within the previous 90 days. (Photo/NWS)

According to National Weather Service data, Middlesex County has received six to eight inches of rainfall. Precipitation remains four to six inches behind normal rainfall for the region.

Water Department implements restrictions 

The Water Department has implemented mandatory water restrictions for public water customers.

Previously, the department encouraged voluntary restrictions within Westford. The department urged residents to minimize outdoor water usage between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Now, customers with an odd-numbered address may only water on odd-numbered days from 6 p.m. to 9 a.m. Customers with even-numbered addresses may only water on even-numbered days from 6 p.m. to 9 a.m. Additionally, the filling of swimming pools is prohibited.

“The odd/even schedule allows us to keep up with customer demand by spreading out water usage,” the Water Department wrote in a news release. “Watering between 6:00 pm and 9:00  am when evapotranspiration is at the lowest level makes watering more effective and reduces waste.”

The department will issue a $50 for the first offense, and $100 fines for subsequent offenses.

Restrictions take effect on Friday, June 24 and will remain in effect until further notice.

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Ben Domaingue
Ben Domainguehttps://www.clippings.me/bendomaingue
Ben Domaingue has previously worked at newspapers in New Hampshire and is the Managing Editor covering Westford. He’s passionate about community journalism, photography and hiking. Email him at bdomaingue@westfordcat.org.