Outdoor Water Use Restrictions FAQ

What is the current status of the outdoor water use restriction?

As of May 1, 2021, the Town began the seasonal Outdoor Water Use Ban. This means that all outdoor watering must occur before 9am and after 5pm, and that irrigation systems may only be used one day a week, corresponding with your voting precinct. See below for details.

While this ban does not technically include residents with private irrigation wells, we encourage all residents to be responsible for their water use during the warmer months.

Why does the Town impose outdoor water use restrictions?

The simple answer is that these restrictions are required as part of our Water Management Act permits, which are based in part on our conservation measures.

The Town also imposes these restrictions to manage the amount of water we have available to residents for drinking, bathing and in case of a fire. Outdoor water use and irrigation are not considered essential uses. In the summer the demand for water is much greater than in the winter and usage can more than double. As the level of the reservoir decreases the Town imposes tighter restrictions to maintain our water supply.    

 

Are the bans effective?

In the summer of 2010, the Town enacted an odd/even watering restriction for 2 weeks followed by a full ban on outdoor watering. During the odd/even restriction period, the town saved about 400,000 gallons of water per day. During the full ban, the town doubled that and saved 800,000 gallons per day.

During the drought of 2016 the first month of the outdoor water ban resulted in a 6% decrease in water demand. As the town increased enforcement and publicity, water demand was reduced by 25% in August and September. Don't wait for a drought to make changes in your home or business!

 

What exactly are the different summer outdoor water use levels?

The basics:

Outdoor Water Use Ban

May 1 – September 30

Irrigation systems may only be used one day a week, corresponding with your voting precinct.  See link to precincts in the Details section below.

 

While this ban does not technically include residents with private wells, we encourage all residents to be responsible for their water use during the warmer months.

 

ALL outdoor watering must occur before 9 AM and after 5 PM

Total Ban on all NonEssential Outdoor Water Use

Reservoir drops below a predetermined level

Nonessential outdoor water uses that are subject to these mandatory restrictions include:

 

- Use of in-ground irrigation systems.

 

- Washing of vehicles (cars, boats, motorcycles) except in a commercial car wash or as necessary for safe operation.

 

- Filling of pools, hot tubs or fish ponds.

 

- Washing of building surfaces, parking lots, sidewalks except as necessary to apply surface treatments such as paint, stain, stucco or cement.

 

Hand held hoses only are allowed from 5:00 PM until 9:00 AM for watering gardens or plants.

 

Details

Between May 1 and Sept 30 ALL outdoor water use of any kind must occur before 9 AM and after 5 PM.  This includes all outdoor water usage such as topping off a pool, cleaning a pool filter, washing a car, rinsing a boat, or using a manual sprinkler on a lawn. Also, during this time, if you have an automatic irrigation system, it may be used one day per week, according to voting precinct.

            Properties in Precinct 1 may irrigate lawns on Monday

            Properties in Precinct 2 may irrigate lawns on Tuesday

            Properties in Precinct 3 may irrigate lawns on Wednesday

            Properties in Precinct 4 may irrigate lawns on Thursday

            Properties in Precinct 5 & 6 may irrigate lawns on Friday

Precincts by street available online at,

https://www.scituatema.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif3781/f/uploads/precinct_l...

NO PROPERTIES WILL USE INGROUND AUTOMATIC IRRIGATION ON SATURDAY AND SUNDAY

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When the Reservoir falls to a predetermined level, typically 36 feet or only 49% full, the town implements a total outdoor water use ban.

When we reach this stage, there will be a TOTAL ban on all nonessential outdoor water use.

This includes:

  • Any irrigation of a lawn via automatic irrigation system
  • Any water added to any type of swimming pool
  • Washing any vehicle or boat except as necessary for operator safety
  • Washing exterior building surfaces, parking lots, driveways, sidewalks, etc. except as necessary to apply surface treatments such as paint, preservatives, stucco, pavement, or cement.

Sometimes, at the discretion of the Water Department, the following uses might be allowed, even when mandatory restrictions are in place:

  • Irrigation to establish a new lawn or plantings, but ONLY during the months of May and September. A citizen seeking permission for this situation needs to apply to the Water department.
  • Irrigation of public parks and recreational fields before 9 AM and after 5 PM.
  • Irrigation of gardens, flowers, and ornamental plants, but only by means of a hand-held hose or drip irrigation system before 9 AM and after 5 PM, and
  • Irrigation of a lawn by means of a hand held hose, before 9 AM and after 5 PM

For more information visit,

https://www.scituatema.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif3781/f/uploads/total_ban_...