Conserving Water & Water Facts
Water Use Restrictions
CITY OF FITCHBURG
WATER USE RESTRICTIONS
Effective June 2, 2020
The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, in accordance with WATER WITHDRAWAL PERMIT #9P-2-08-097.01, requires the City of Fitchburg, D.P.W. – Division of Water Supply to implement a seasonal restriction on nonessential outdoor water use effective June 2, 2020 for the City of Fitchburg. The restriction is based upon the flow of the North Nashua River between the period of May 1 to September 30, as measured at USGS stream flow gage # 0109440 located near the Fifth Street Bridge, Fitchburg, MA.
The City of Fitchburg must implement water use restrictions under the following conditions:
- May 1 – June 30: Flow at the above USGS gauging station remains below 62 cubic feet per second for three consecutive days. Restrictions may be lifted if the flow remains above 62 cubic feet per second for seven consecutive days (but would have to be put back in place if the flow again dropped below 62 cubic feet per second for three consecutive days).
- July 1 – September 30: Flow at the above USGS gauging station remains below 24 cubic feet per second for three consecutive days. Restrictions may be lifted if the flow remains above 24 cubic feet per second for seven consecutive days (but would have to be put back in place if the flow again dropped below 24 cubic feet per second for three consecutive days).
Please note that the restrictions imposed by this order are related to stream flows that have been determined to protect aquatic habitat. They are not, at this time, related to Fitchburg’s reservoir levels or the ability to provide adequate water to City of Fitchburg Water Division customers.
TERMS OF THE RESTRICTION
No nonessential outdoor water use shall occur between the hours of 9 am and 5 pm.
Restricted Nonessential Outdoor Water Uses
To the extent feasible, all summer outdoor water use should take place before 9 am and after 5 pm when evaporation and evapo-transpiration rates are lower.
Nonessential outdoor water uses that are subject to mandatory restrictions include:
- irrigation of lawns via sprinklers or automatic irrigation systems;
- washing of vehicles, except in a commercial car wash or as necessary for operator safety; and
- washing of exterior building surfaces, parking lots, driveways or sidewalks, except as necessary to apply surface treatments such as paint, preservatives, stucco, pavement or cement.
The following uses may be allowed when mandatory restrictions are in place:
- irrigation to establish a new lawn and new plantings during the months of May and September;
- irrigation of public parks and recreational fields by automatic sprinklers before 9 am and after 5 pm;
- irrigation of gardens, flowers and ornamental plants by means of a hand-held hose or drip irrigation systems; and
- irrigation of lawns by means of a hand-held hose only.
Water uses NOT subject to mandatory restrictions are those necessary:
- for health or safety reasons;
- by regulation;
- for the production of food and fiber;
- for the maintenance of livestock; or
- to meet the core functions of a business (for example, irrigation by golf courses as necessary to maintain tees, greens, and minimal fairway watering, or irrigation by plant nurseries as necessary to maintain stock).
Violations of the Restriction
Per City of Fitchburg Code chapter 177 section 28: Any person found in violation of this restriction may be fined in accordance with the following schedule:
- First offense $150
- Second offense $200
- Third and subsequent offenses $300
Water, Water, Everywhere
Facts About Water
- Water can be liquid, solid or gas
- Only 1% of the Earth's water is drinkable, 97% is located in the oceans and the other 2% is currently frozen
- Water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit and freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit
- About two thirds of the human body is water
- Water is healthy. It has no fat, cholesterol or calories! Drink up!!
- You can survive about a month without food, but only 5 -7 days without water
- Each person uses about 75 gallons of water a day at home
Ways to Conserve Our Valuable Resource
- Check for Leaks
Make sure no water is running and check the meter in your basement. If it is moving, you've got a leak somewhere. Toilet leaks are very common and a leaky toilet could equal 100 gallons of water a day.
- Only wash full loads in your washer and dishwasher
- Turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth
A running faucet while brushing uses 10 gallons. Wetting the brush and then rinsing briefly uses only 4 gallons.
- Water your garden when the sun goes down and use recycled water
Watering at night or in early morning will minimize evaporation. Catching rainwater and reusing it to water will help conserve too.
- Don't use the hose to clean your walkways
By using a broom and not the hose to clean the driveway and sidewalk will save 25 gallons of water in a five minute period.
- Use the wastebasket not the toilet for trash
Flushing Kleenex, trash tidbits or squashed bugs will waste 5 - 7 gallons of water per flush