Preparing for what could be another dry summer, area communities are implementing outdoor water restrictions, many of which kick in Saturday.
While there has been some rain in recent days, absolutely no snow in March, which normally has about 7 inches, and less than average rainfall for April has led state officials to place the area that includes Bristol and Norfolk counties in a Level 2, or significant, drought.
For April, only about 3 1/2 inches of rain was recorded by the Attleboro Water Department. The month typically gets over 4 inches.
March saw just over 2 inches of rain but usually has double that in precipitation, which is rain and melted snow.
State officials advise area residents and businesses to conserve water indoors and outdoors, restricting new plantings to native and drought-resistant plants, and fix leaks.
The last drought was recent, running from May to December.
Attleboro has no outdoor water restrictions yet but all other area communities do except Rehoboth, which has no municipal water supply.
North Attleboro Water Department has issued a mandatory non-essential water use restriction that began Saturday and is expected to last through September.
Odd-numbered addresses are allowed to use non-essential outdoor water only before 9 a.m. and after 5 p.m. Tuesdays.
Even-numbered addresses are allowed only before 9 a.m. and after 5 p.m. Thursdays.
Non-essential water use is irrigation of lawns via sprinklers or automatic irrigation systems; washing of vehicles, except in a commercial car wash; washing of exterior building surfaces, parking lots, driveways, except as necessary to apply surface treatments such as paint, preservatives or cement.
The following uses may be allowed when mandatory restrictions are in place: irrigation to establish a new lawn and new plantings; irrigation of public parks and recreational fields by means of automatic sprinklers outside the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and watering lawns, gardens, flowers and ornamental plants by means of a hand-held hose.
Violating the restrictions may result in penalties: First offense — reminder notice; second offense, written warning; third offense, $50 fine; and fourth offense, $100 fine and daily for each additional offense.
Restrictions are needed, water officials say, because of PFAS chemical contamination at the Adamsdale Well, current groundwater conditions in the Southeast region, and to maintain compliance with the town’s Water Management Withdrawal Permit from the state.
Residents have likely seen the signs the town has posted for outdoor water use.
Selectmen have voted to lift a ban on outdoor water use effective Saturday.
Outdoor watering by users with odd-numbered addresses is restricted to odd-numbered days, and with even-numbered addresses is restricted to even-numbered days.
The use of automatic sprinkler systems is restricted to one day per week, on the day coinciding with regular household trash pickup between the hours of 8 p.m. and 6 a.m.
The town’s long-standing rules restrict all outside water use to hand-held hoses. Violation of the regulation will result in the following fines: first offense, $150 fine; second offense, $300 fine; third offense, $300 fine and termination of service.
PHASE II water restrictions are in effect. Odd/even lawn watering is permitted between the hours of 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Hand-held hose for garden and pool filling is permitted any time. Lawn watering permits are available for full lawn installations.
Outdoor watering is banned, except for ornamentals and flower gardens with drip irrigation, hand-held hoses or a watering can is permitted before 9 a.m. or after 5 p.m.
Wrentham is in mandatory Stage III water restrictions. This means no watering between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. and watering only on the residents trash day outside of those hours.
The town continues its outdoor water restriction that have been in place since June 2009: Only hand-held hoses are allowed. Any person violating this bylaw faces a $50 fine for the first violation and $100 for each subsequent violation.
The town is in its Phase 2 outdoor water management program from May 1 to Sept. 30. Even-numbered addresses are only allowed to water on even-numbered days and properties with odd-numbered addresses are only allowed to water on odd-numbered days between the hours of 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Violators are subject to fines and water shut-offs as follows: First offense, written warning; second offense, $50 fine; third offense, $100 fine; and fourth offense, termination of water until continued violation is resolved.