Outdoor Water Restriction Standards and Guidelines

September 30, 2017 → NONESSENTIAL OUTDOOR WATER RESTRICTION LIFTED   

Why can Sudbury be placed in a Mandatory Outdoor Water Restriction? Water use for the Sudbury Water District is regulated by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. As a public water supplier we are issued a Water Management Act Permit which allows us to withdraw a certain amount of water from the Sudbury/Assabett/Concord River Basin. Restrictions are placed on water use when streamflow in the Concord River (in Lowell) falls below a specified level; as part of this standard, whenever a drought advisory or higher is declared by the Massachusetts Drought Management Task Force, Sudbury must implement a Mandatory Nonessential Outdoor Water Use Restriction.

What triggers Sudbury’s outdoor restrictions as designated by MassDEP? From May 1st through September 30th whenever the Streamflow at the Concord River (below River Meadow Brook, at Lowell) falls below assigned criteria for (3) consecutive days Mandatory Water Restriction for Nonessential Outdoor Water Use will be placed in effect. The “trigger” flow from May 1st through June 30th is below 427 cubic feet per second for (3) consecutive days; from July 1st through September 30th the “trigger” flow is below 156 cubic feet per second for (3) consecutive days.

How is the trigger level determined? Levels of restriction are based on the residential per capita per day water use. The MassDEP wants all water systems to be at or below 65 gallons per person per day of use. When the previous year’s water use is above 65 gallons per person per day we are required to enforce more stringent restrictions. In 2016 our use was BELOW 65 gallons per person per day therefore in 2017 when implemented non-essential water will be limited to BEFORE 9 am or AFTER 5 pm only.

Once implemented, how long will Mandatory Restriction be in effect? Restriction for Non-essential Outdoor Water Use will remain in effect through September 30, 2017 or in the event of long term drought (as experienced in 2016) our Board of Water Commissioners has the authority to extend restriction periods as necessary to protect the water supply and provide adequate flows in the event of a fire emergency.

Is privately sourced water exempt? Private wells are exempt however all users are encouraged to follow restriction guidelines.

What is the best way to stay informed of restriction status? Subscribe to our email database and electronic notifications will automatically be sent or check back to our website often.

What is considered non-essential? Using water outdoors for any purpose other than watering a vegetable garden, newly seeded lawn or newly planted ornamentals.

  • Car-wash fundraising should be scheduled before May 1 or after Sept 30 to avoid possibility of cancellation during period of mandatory restriction.

RESTRICTION GUIDELINES

Nonessential outdoor water uses that are subject to mandatory restriction include: Watering established lawns and ornamentals by means of surface sprinklers or underground irrigation systems (outside of your assigned watering day and allowable time), washing of vehicles other than by means of a commercial car wash, except as necessary for operator safety and washing of exterior building surfaces, parking lots, driveways or sidewalks, except as necessary to apply paint, preservatives, stucco, pavement or cement.

The following uses may be allowed even when mandatory restrictions are in place – always check with your public water supplier first:
Watering to establish a newly seeded lawn or newly planted ornamentals by means of surface or underground irrigation systems:
May and September (only) watering is allowed any time of day
June, July and August watering is restricted to BEFORE 9 am or AFER 5 pm
Vegetable gardens
Irrigation of public parks and recreational fields (outside of the hours of 9 am to 5 pm)
Watering lawns, gardens, flowers and other ornamentals by means of a “hand-held” hose.

EXEMPTIONS: 
For health or safety reasons.
By regulation.
For the production of food and fiber.
For the maintenance of livestock.
To meet the core functions of a business (for example, irrigation by golf courses as necessary to maintain tees, greens, and limited fairway watering or irrigation by plant nurseries as necessary to maintain stock).
» » Private wells are exempt (however all users are encouraged to follow restriction guidelines).

What is the violation protocol? 

  • FIRST OFFENSE: WRITTEN WARNING
  • SECOND OFFENSE: $50.00 FINE
  • THIRD OFFENSE: $100.00 FINE
  • FOURTH OFFENSE: TERMINATION OF WATER SERVICE (Plus Applicable Turn-On Fee)

RESTRICTION HISTORY

2017 Outdoor Mandatory Water Restriction:

  • August 16, 2017 » Nonessential outdoor water use is allowable only BEFORE 9 am or After 5 pm (seven days per week) and will remain in effect through September 30, 2017.
  • September 30, 2017 » Mandatory Outdoor Water Restriction Lifted. 

2016 Outdoor Mandatory Water Restriction:

  • May 18th » Non-essential outdoor water use is limited to two-days per week according to precinct number before 9 am or after 5 pm only.
  • July 8th » Drought Advisory Issued, Non-essential water use limited to one-day per week according to precinct number before 9 am or after 5 pm only.
  • August 11th » Water Shortage Emergency, No lawn watering until further notice. Private wells exempt however all users are encouraged to follow restriction guidelines.
  • October 1st » Outdoor water restriction extended through October 31st due to ongoing long-term drought.
  • November 1st » Mandatory Outdoor Water Restriction Lifted.
  • Precinct 1, 1A and 2: Outdoor water use is allowable → TUESDAY & SATURDAY → Before 9 am or After 5pm
  • Precinct 3: Outdoor water use is allowable → WEDNESDAY & SUNDAY → Before 9 am or After 5 pm
  • Precinct 4 and 5: Outdoor water use is allowable → THURSDAY & SUNDAY → Before 9 am or After 5 pm
  • OUTDOOR WATER USE IS PROHIBITED ON MONDAY & FRIDAY DURING PERIOD OF MANDATORY RESTRICTION unless exempt or otherwise noted.
  • UNSURE OF YOUR PRECINT NUMBER? FIND IT HERE→

2015 Outdoor Mandatory Water Restriction:

  • May 15th » Non-essential outdoor water use is limited to two-days per week according to precinct number, before 9 am or after 5 pm only.
  • September 30th » Mandatory Outdoor Water Restriction Lifted.

2014 Outdoor Mandatory Water Restriction:

  • June 11th » Non-essential outdoor water use is limited to one-day per week before 9 am or after 5 pm only.
  • September 30th » Mandatory Outdoor Water Restriction Lifted.

2013 Outdoor Mandatory Water Restriction:

  • May 4th » Non-essential outdoor water use is limited to one-day per week before 9 am or after 5 pm only.
  • July 8th » Mandatory Outdoor Water Restriction Lifted.
  • August 23rd » Non-essential outdoor water use is limited to one-day per week before 9 am or after 5 pm only.
  • October 1st » Mandatory Outdoor Water Restriction Lifted.
What are Sudbury's Water Conservation Standards?

Download Sudbury’s Water Conservation Standards PDF.