Water Conservation and Outdoor Watering Restrictions

 With Population and industry growth comes a greater need for water. Water is a limited resource that can quickly become scarce if we do not take measures to conserve and protect it.
 To ensure that our water needs will always be met, we must protect our water supplies against the constant threat of pollution. This includes proper disposal of household hazardous waste and pharmaceuticals. Conserving water helps reduce the energy used for water conveyance, treatment and storage. Reducing hot water usage saves energy as well. Conserving water also saves a precious natural resource, avoids overdraft of reservoirs and groundwater, maintains future water supplies, and leaves more water for wildlife. By conserving, you can save on your water and utility bills, and sewer and septic costs.

Click here for the MWWA (Massachusetts Water Works Association) - report from February 2017 about Drought in Massachusetts and its effects.

Easy Ways to Conserve:
  • When waiting for cold tap water to warm up, capture wasted water in a picture or watering can to water plants or washing dishes or use for cooking.
  • Fix leaks. A faucet that drips can waste up to 3,820 gallons of water per year. Most leaks are easy to repair.
  • Reuse water when you can. A bucket in the shower can catch water for plants and clean-up jobs.
  • Watch how much water you use when doing dishes, brushing teeth, and showering. 
  • Follow the easy tips provided for both Indoor and Outdoor water usage in our Conservation FAQ document.
LevelsMay_2017
CURRENT RESERVOIR LEVEL AND WATER RESTRICTION STAGE:
Updated on June 2nd, 2017 - Reservoir Level is 298.49ft -Which means the Town is under Permanent Outdoor water use restrictions. We will follow the corresponding Water Use Restrictions noted below, in order to conserve water.

Definition of Terms:
  • Agriculture shall mean farming in all its branches and agriculture, as defined at M.G.L. c. 128, § 1A.
  • Outdoor watering shall mean any residential, municipal, industrial, or commercial use of municipally- supplied water for decorative areas, lawns, trees or shrubbery.
  • Handheld watering shall mean outdoor watering by means of a bucket, can, or handheld hose attachment with automatic shut off nozzle.
  • Unattended watering shall mean outdoor watering by means of a device that does not require a person to actively and continuously engage said device.
  • Irrigation system shall mean outdoor watering by means of a system connected to a pressurized water line and has the ability to automatically activate. Such systems may be permanently or temporarily installed with hoses and/or pipes partially or fully below grade.
  • Runoff shall mean outdoor watering resulting in a visible collection or stream or water on a street or sidewalk.
Permanent Outdoor Water Use Restrictions - Reservoir level is above 295.85 ft

  1. Handheld watering shall be allowed any day at any time.
  2. Odd/even unattended watering schedule: NOTE: Absolutely NO watering on Monday 7 AM to Wednesday 7 PM and Friday 7 AM to Saturday 7 PM. Watering shall be started on the day allowed (See below) and may run into the morning of the following day.

Property having odd address

Wednesday 7:00pm to Thursday 7:00am

Saturday 7:00pm to Sunday 7:00am

Property having even address

Thursday 7:00pm to Friday 7:00am

Sunday 7:00pm to Monday 7:00am

        c. Outdoor watering resulting in runoff is prohibited.

In addition, a declaration of a State of Water Supply Conservation shall include one or more of the following restrictions, conditions, or requirements limiting the use of water as necessary to protect the water supply except for the exemptions as provided in § 270-10. The applicable restrictions, conditions or requirements shall be included in the public notice.

Conditional Outdoor Water Use Restrictions 
Stage 1- Reservoir level is below 295.85 ft
Hopkinton Reservoir level below 295.85 feet between the days of June 1 - August 31 each year.
  • Car washing: Car or vehicle washing is prohibited.
  • Unattended watering: Unattended watering using municipally-supplied water is prohibited.
  • Ornamental Pools & Fountains: Operation of ornamental pools and fountains is prohibited.
  • Swimming Pools: Filing and topping off of swimming pools larger than 300 gallons with water from the municipal system is prohibited.
  • Hand Watering: Hand watering is allowed on the 2-day a week schedule (Wednesdays and Saturdays for odd numbered houses and Thursdays and Sundays for even numbered houses). See table above.

Stage 2- Reservoir level is below 295.35 ft

Hopkinton reservoir level below 295.35 or daily use over 5.90 mg.
  • All Outdoor watering including Handheld Watering is prohibited per the Board of Selectmen vote - Meeting date September 21,2016.
  • All other Stage 1 Restrictions apply.
  • The Town, acting through the Board of Selectmen as water commissioners, retains the right to impose additional restrictions with due notice to residents.
To review details for all water restrictions, view the Town By law at: http://ecode360.com/13018247

Stay Up-to-Date 

Please check this webpage regularly for updates or subscribe to changes on this site. We will be also updating the following sources of information:

Prior to Stage 1, It is the policy of the Department of Public Works to issue 1 warning prior to issuing violations. 

Violations of Water Restrictions


During Stage 1 or Stage 2, In accordance with Chapter 270-9 of the Ashland Town Code, please be advised that the penalties for violations during these water restriction periods are as follows:
  • $200 per day for the 1st violation and for each subsequent use
  • Upon the 5th violation water will be shut off
  • Fines shall be recovered by indictment, or on complaint before the District Court, or by non-criminal disposition in accordance with section 21 D of Chapter 40 of the Massachusetts General Laws.

Exemptions


The water use restrictions adopted under this by-law shall not apply to the specific uses outlined below provided the user meets any applicable eligibility criteria.
Commercial agriculture;
Water to sustain animal life;
Swimming pools used as a primary means of exercise, therapy or rehabilitation located at a medical or rehabilitation facility;
Commercial car or vehicle washing facilities;
Washing of structures prior to the application of exterior coating such as paint.
If required by health and safety regulations

DPW may grant permits to allow unattended watering for a period not to exceed four weeks. The permit shall grant permission to water new lawns daily from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. The ground for such a permit are as follows:
  •  New lawns. This shall apply to land parcels with no existing lawn, or land parcels where a minimum of 50% of an existing lawn is to be replaced. These permits may be issued from April 1 through May 31 and September 15 through November 15 yearly.
  • Title V compliance. This shall apply to land parcels requiring lawn growth for septic system installation or maintenance. These permits may be issued from April 1 through November 15.
  • Municipal projects. This shall apply to any outdoor project funded partially or in full by the public. These permits may be issued from April 1 through November 15.
Hand watering of any gardens or land used for food production during Stage 2 restrictions, between the hours of 7pm & 7am.

Town athletic fields, including those fields under the control of the Ashland Public Schools, in accordance with the Odd/Even Outdoor Watering schedule, upon application to, and approval by, the Board of Selectmen

 

Hopkinton Reservoir Needs


The Town may impose additional Stage 1 and Stage 2 restrictions based on reduced water levels at the Hopkinton Reservoir.

For More Information


If you have any questions, please contact Water/Sewer Foreman Roy Correia at 508-532-7964.
g. 
Residents may request a watering permit for new lawns from May 1 through June 15 for a period not to exceed two weeks. The permit grants the resident permission to water between the hours of 7:00 PM and 7:00 AM daily.
h. 
Residents may request a watering permit in order to comply with Title V requirements for a period not to exceed two weeks. The permit grants the resident permission to water between the hours of 7:00 PM and 7:00 AM daily.
i. 
Hand watering of any gardens or land used for food production during Stage 2 restrictions, between the hours of 7pm & 7am.
[Added 5-4-2011 ATM, Art. 15]
j. 
Town athletic fields, including those fields under the control of the Ashland Public Schools, in accordance with the Odd/Even Outdoor Watering schedule, and between the hours of 7:00 PM and 9:00 AM, upon application to, and approval by, the Board of Selectmen;
[Added 5-4-2011 ATM, Art. 15]