Westborough imposes water restriction


Westborough’s light board sign advertised the town’s water restriction in the downtown rotary on Wednesday. (Photo/Dakota Antelman)

WESTBOROUGH – The Westborough Department of Public Works has implemented a water restriction.

This prohibits a number of water uses between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., including irrigation of lawns using sprinklers or automatic irrigation systems.

The restriction also bans washing vehicles except when using a commercial car wash or if washing is necessary for the driver’s safety. 

Washing exterior building surfaces, parking lots, driveways or sidewalks is further prohibited, except when necessary to apply surface treatment.

Speaking in a Select Board meeting on Tuesday, Department of Public Works Director Chris Payant reiterated that it is O.K. to turn sprinklers on outside of restriction hours. 

“The idea there is that we’re not burning off water in the sun,” Payant said. “You’re watering your lawn, it’s soaking into the ground and then it’s not immediately disappearing through evaporation.” 

The restriction, which is in accordance with the town’s Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Water Management Act permit, took effect on Monday. 

“The state tells us how much water we can take out of the ground or out of the reservoir, and related to that is potential restrictions or ways to conserve water,” Payant said.

According to Payant, in this case, the restriction’s trigger is the water level of the Assabet River being below a certain level measured by a United States Geological Survey flow meter. 

The USGS had reported a gage height of 1.91 feet of the Assabet River at its monitoring location in Maynard as of May 25. 

According to the USGS, gage height is the height of a stream above a specific reference point, which is generally located underneath the stream bed. 

While the restriction only applies to publicly-supplied water, the town is asking that private well users to voluntarily participate in the water restrictions.

Payant said the town can look to impose additional restrictions if things change over the coming weeks and months. 

For more information on the restriction, visit https://www.town.westborough.ma.us/sites/g/files/vyhlif5176/f/uploads/westborough_water_restrictions_notice5-23-2022.pdf.