Water Restrictions


Mandatory Level 3 Water Conservation Restriction effective 23-Aug-2016.

All outdoor use of water is prohibited.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has declared a Drought Warning for the areas of Central and Northeast Massachusetts. In an effort to preserve our water supply during this drought, the Town of Maynard has issued a Level 3 Conservation order. This elevated conservation restriction will help to ensure the Town can provide an adequate drinking water and fire protection supply to its customers.

Under this Level 3 Conservation Restriction, all outdoor use of water is prohibited. The Level 3 Water Conservation Restriction is in effect from August 23rd, 2016 until further notice. This conservation measure will be strictly enforced with fines of up to $200 per day.

For any questions regarding this notice, please call the Maynard DPW Office at 978-897-1317.

For more information on how you can help to conserve water, visit the Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs Water Conservation website: http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/massdep/water/watersheds/water-conservation.html


Water Restriction Background Information

Provided by Massachusetts Dept. of Environmental Protection (MassDEP)

MassDEP’s Water Management Act (WMA) Program is responsible for the management of the Commonwealth’s water resources which includes balancing competing water withdrawals, uses, and preservation.  A condition that requires restricting non-essential outdoor water use is included in Maynard’s WMA permit.  The condition is based on the residential use from the previous year.  WMA permittees are also required to meet a residential use of 65 gallons per person per day.  This condition is taken from the Massachusetts Water Resources Commission’s performance standards for effective water conservation for public water suppliers.

The WRC is comprised of state officials and public members and is responsible for developing, coordinating and overseeing the Commonwealth’s water policy and planning activities. Since Maynard’s residential use in 2010 met the performance standard, they are required to restrict nonessential outdoor water use to the hours of 9 pm to 5 am.  They can choose to implement this restriction from May through September so that the implementation and public notification process is easier for them, or they can watch the assigned USGS gage on the Assabet River and wait until the river declines to a flow designation in the permit and then implement the restrictions.

Permittees that do not meet the standard are required to limit the number of days of nonessential outdoor water use to one or two days per week depending on where their sources of water are located.  Maynard’s decision to add an odd/even component to the restriction is their choice.  This will help them to continue to meet the 65 gallon standard. The hourly restriction is to promote smart water use and to lessen the loss of water evaporated from irrigation systems.  Envision the neighbor watering their lawn at noon on hot summer’s day.  The hourly restriction also benefits water suppliers that are trying to meet peak demand.  Water use, much like electricity, has peak days and hours that a supplier may struggle to meet.  Watering in the early morning or at night will ease this concern.

MassDEP’s decision to include May in the calendar option is to preserve the resource before an issue arises.  As we saw last year (2010), spring was plentiful with precipitation and then in the summer three of the Commonwealth’s six water resource management regions were issued a drought advisory. MassDEP has worked closely with water suppliers and environmental groups over the years to find a balance that works for all.

Level 1 Restrictions – Nonessential Outdoor Use

Here is an excerpt from the permit that describes the exceptions. As stated in Special Condition 8, in Water Management Act permits, “nonessential outdoor water use” includes uses that are not required:

  • for health or safety reasons;
  • by regulation;
  • for the production of food and fiber;
  • for the maintenance of livestock; or
  • to meet the core functions of a business (for example, irrigation by golf courses as necessary to maintain tees, greens, and limited fairway watering, or irrigation by plant nurseries as necessary to maintain stock).

Examples of nonessential outdoor water uses include but not limited to:

  • Uses that are not required for health and safety reasons.
  • Irrigation of lawns via sprinklers or automatic irrigation systems;
  • Washing of vehicles other than by means of a commercial car wash, except as necessary for operator safety; and
  • Washing of exterior building surfaces, parking lots, driveways or sidewalks, except as necessary to apply paint, preservatives, stucco, pavement or cement.

Examples of acceptable outdoor water uses include:

  • Irrigation to establish a new lawn during the months of May and September;
  • Irrigation of lawns, gardens, flowers, and ornamental plants via hand held hoses only; and
  • Irrigation of public parks and recreational fields before 9 am and after 5 pm.

Level 3 Restrictions – All Outdoor Water Use is Prohibited

If the town’s water storage tanks (located on Summer Hill) drop below 20 feet a Level 3 Conservation Restriction will be immediately enacted. A Level 3 Conservation Restriction can also be enacted as directed by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) or if a Drought Advisory is declared by the Massachusetts Drought Management Task Force.