REGION — Following recent rain events in September, the Northeast Region of Massachusetts, which includes Westford, has been upgraded to a significant drought, resulting in relaxed water restrictions for residents.
Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Bethany Card announced the upgrade from a critical drought to a significant drought on Oct. 7 She cited a number of rainfall events that directly benefited Massachusetts hydrological systems.
According to National Weather Service data, the region still remains 8-10 inches behind average rainfall during this point in the year.
Water Department downgrades restrictions
Previously, the department banned all non-essential water use in town under its Stage 3 restrictions. The department is now requiring residents to minimize outdoor water usage between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. under its Stage 2 restrictions.
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 still 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.
Relaxed restrictions took effect on Oct. 7 and will remain in effect until further notice.
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