Westborough Imposes Water Restriction – Community Advocate

Westborough’s illuminated sign announced the city’s water restriction in the town center on Wednesday. (Photo/Dakota Antelman)

WESTBOROUGH – The Westborough Department of Public Works has implemented a water restriction.

This prohibits a number of water uses between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., including irrigating lawns using sprinklers or automatic irrigation systems.

The restriction also prohibits the washing of vehicles except when using a commercial car wash or if washing is necessary for driver safety.

Washing the exterior surfaces of buildings, parking lots, driveways or sidewalks is also prohibited, except when it is necessary to apply a surface treatment.

Speaking at a board meeting on Tuesday, Department of Public Works Director Chris Payant reiterated that it was acceptable to turn on sprinklers outside of blackout hours.

“The idea is that we don’t burn water in the sun,” Payant said at Tuesday’s board meeting. “You water your lawn, it soaks into the soil and doesn’t immediately evaporate through evaporation.”

The restriction, which complies with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s Water Stewardship Act permit, went into effect Monday.

“The state tells us how much water we can take from the ground or the reservoir, and in relation to that, any potential restrictions or ways to conserve water,” Payant said.

According to Payant, in this case, the trigger for the restriction is that the water level in the Assabet River is below a certain level measured by a United States Geological Survey’s flow meter.

The USGS had reported a gauge height of 1.91 feet from the Assabet River at its Maynard monitoring location as of May 25.

According to the USGS, gauge height is the height of a stream above a specific reference point, which is usually below the stream bed.

Although the restriction only applies to public water, the city is asking users of private wells to voluntarily participate in water restrictions.

Payant said the city may consider imposing additional restrictions if things change over the coming weeks and months.

For more information on the restriction, visit https://www.town.westborough.ma.us/sites/g/files/vyhlif5176/f/uploads/westborough_water_restrictions_notice5-23-2022.pdf.