Devens Restricting Outdoor Water Use
By Scott Shurtleff
DEVENS -- A temporary water restriction has been imposed at Devens until further notice.
Residents and businesses are prohibited from watering between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. every day.
The restriction forbids the irrigation of lawns, washing of vehicles except in commercial stations; and the washing of buildings’ external surfaces, driveways or sidewalks except as necessary to apply paint, stucco, pavement or cement.
The restriction began in early June and will likely run through the summer. Kelsey Abbruzzese, a spokesperson for the state Department of Environmental Protection, said that this is a regular precaution taken almost every summer to help conserve water and avoid drought.
The official gauge, upon which decisions are made, is at the East Pepperell section of the Nashua River. It measures flow rate in cubic feet per second (cfs). For May and June. if the number drops below 463 cfs for three consecutive days then restrictions are implemented. During July, August and September the threshold drops to 177 cfs, on three consecutive days.
Violators will receive a written warning for first offense and increasingly steeper penalties for subsequent offenses, including fines from $100 for second and $300 for third violation.
According to the DEP regulations posted on the Devens website, the readings must be above the recommended threshold for seven consecutive days before the restrictions can be lifted.
Nearly every community in northern and central Massachusetts are taking water precautions.. Ayer, Groton, Pepperell, Shirley, Townsend and Fitchburg are among the more than 100 communities with some degree of water restrictions in place or recurring.