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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 increased mandatory 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.
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 Stage III restrictions
The Water Department has implemented mandatory water restrictions for public water customers.
Previously, the department required residents to minimize outdoor water usage between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.
”Due to continued drought conditions, high demand, and temporary loss of the Country Road well source, the Westford Water Department is upgrading the Outdoor Water Use Restrictions to Stage III – no outdoor watering using sprinklers,” wrote the Water Department in a news release.
Under Stage III restrictions, all outdoor nonessential water use is prohibited. The department clarified that watering with a hand-held hose with automatic shut-off or watering can is allowed. Water of food gardens is also exempt from these restrictions.
Customers with an odd-numbered address may still 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 still prohibited.
The department will issue a $50 for the first offense, and $100 fines for subsequent offenses.
Restrictions take effect on Sunday, July 10 and will remain in effect until further notice.
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