WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – West Springfield residents are asked to follow a mandatory outdoor water use restriction in effect beginning Friday.

Between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., residents are asked to avoid using water for nonessential tasks such as watering and irrigation of lawns, as well as washing vehicles, the exterior of buildings, driveways, or sidewalks, unless it is necessary for safety or construction.

Examples of nonessential water use:

  • Irrigation of lawns via hoses, nozzles, hand-held buckets, sprinklers or automatic irrigation systems;
  • Washing of vehicles, except in a commercial car wash or as necessary for operator safety or to prevent damage and/or maintain performance of agricultural or construction vehicles or equipment; and
  • Washing of exterior building surfaces, parking lots, driveways or sidewalks, except as necessary to apply paint, preservatives, stucco, pavement or cement.

Exceptions to nonessential outdoor water uses are:

  • Irrigation of public parks and recreation fields outside the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.;
  • Irrigation of lawns, gardens, flowers and ornamental plants by means of a hand-held hose outside
  • the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.;
  • Irrigation with harvested and stored stormwater runoff;
  • Irrigation of newly planted lawns (seeded or sodded) in the current calendar year for homes or businesses newly constructed in the previous 12 months;
  • Filling of privately owned outdoor pools; and
  • Irrigation necessary to meet the core function of a business (e.g., irrigation by golf courses as necessary to maintain tees, greens, and limited fairway watering; irrigation by plant nurseries as necessary to maintain stock and establish new plantings; water used to wash equipment to prevent damage and maintain performance, pest management, and plant cooling, etc.).

Anyone in violation is subject may face a written warning and up to $150 fine.

Connecticut River Valley in Significant Drought Status

Courtesy: Energy and Environmental Affairs

The state’s Drought Management Task Force has issued a Level 2-Significant Drought warning for the Connecticut River Valley of the state.

According to a news release sent to 22News from the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EOEEA), the state has experienced lower than average rainfall this spring. The state suggests these drought guidelines for both residents and businesses using municipal water or private wells:

For Region in Level 2 – Significant Drought:

Residents and Businesses:

  • Minimize overall water use;
  • Limit outdoor watering to hand-held hoses or watering cans, to be used only after 5:00PM or before 9:00AMone day a week.

Immediate Steps for Communities:

  • Adopt and implement the state’s nonessential outdoor water use restrictions for drought.
  • Limit or prohibit installation of new sod, seeding, and/or landscaping; washing of hard surfaces (sidewalks, patios, driveways, siding); personal vehicle or boat washing; operation of non-recirculating fountains; filling of swimming pools, hot tubs, and backyard informal rinks.
  • Implement drought or seasonal water rates.
  • Establish water-use reduction targets for all water users and identify top water users and conduct targeted outreach to help curb their use.

Short- and Medium-Term Steps for Communities:

  • Establish a year-round water conservation program that includes public education and communication;
  • Provide timely information to local residents and businesses;
  • Check emergency inter-connections for water supply; and
  • Develop a local drought management plan.