Several dozen communities in central and eastern Massachusetts are facing state-imposed water use restrictions this summer. But only a handful of cities and town in the western part of the state are under these constraints.
A caller to Westfield’s water department is greeted with a friendly reminder about when residents can use water for non-essential activities.
Westfield’s water restriction is due to the Granville Reservoir being off-line for repairs. Things like car washing and lawn watering are only allowed on certain days at specific times. Violators can be fined.
In some other parts of Massachusetts, the state is imposing these kinds of rules. When a river or stream gets too low, restrictions can go into effect. Duane Levangie of the state’s Department of Environmental Protection says it isn’t always about a drinking water shortage.
“It’s in the interest of protecting the resources, particularly fish and aquatic resources, and even perhaps recreational uses in our rivers and streams,” Levangie says.
Levangie says communities can also enforce these restrictions on their own as a proactive measure.