Mayor Sean Reardon announces that the City of Newburyport is asking residents to voluntarily reduce their water use amid prolonged extreme heat and drought conditions.
With the implementation of voluntary restrictions, the city is asking residents to limit their outdoor watering so it occurs only between the hours of 6-9 a.m. and 6-9 p.m. daily. Municipal parks and fields will adhere to the same time restrictions.
The voluntary restriction is the result of a recent dip in water supply below 90% of reservoir's capacity. The Board of Water and Sewer Commissioners has set the 90% threshold as a marker that triggers a drought watch.
"We ask that everyone in our community remain mindful of the ongoing heat which, combined with the lack of rainfall, has the potential to significantly deplete our water resources if we take no action," Mayor Reardon said. "By adhering to these voluntary restrictions, we'll be better able to maintain our water supply."
The City of Newburyport wishes to share the following tips, which residents can use both to conserve water and save on their water bills.
- Water your lawn no more than every three days, and always during the cooler hours of the day in order to minimize evaporation. Watering midday can result in up to 30% of the water used being lost to evaporation. Many customers' water usage increases by two or three times as a result of outdoor water usage, and watering a lawn typically accounts for 50% of all outside watering needs.
- Adjust sprinklers to ensure only your lawn is receiving water, and that none is being wasted by landing on a home, driveway, sidewalk or street.
- Do not water on days where there is heavy rainfall, and deactivate automatic sprinklers to ensure they don't activate when they are not needed.
- When mowing, raise the blade on your lawn mower to at least three inches high, or to its highest level. Closely-cut grass makes the roots work harder, requiring more water.
- Using a layer of mulch around plants reduces evaporation and promotes plant growth. Water retaining basins also allow water to be concentrated around the plants.
- When washing the car, use soap and water from a bucket. Use a hose with a shut-off nozzle for the final rinse.
For more information, please call the Newburyport Water Division at 978-465-4420 or 978-465-4466.