Williamstown restricts nonessential outdoor water use

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WILLIAMSTOWN — The town has announced restrictions on nonessential outdoor water use.

The irrigation of lawns is prohibited, unless the watering occurs with the use of a handheld hose after 5 p.m. and before 9 a.m.

Residents also may not wash vehicles unless at a commercial car wash or for "operator safety" and can not wash buildings or homes "except as necessary to apply paint, preservatives, stucco, pavement or cement."

The new restrictions, which take effect immediately, do not include water used for food production, health or safety reasons, or the maintenance of livestock. If irrigation is central to a business, such as a golf course, the new restrictions do not apply.

Town Manager Jason Hoch said the limitations are "not intended to be overly draconian."

"We haven't had a lot of rainfall, nor did we have a lot of winter melt, so [it is] just kind of good prudent management," he said.

Violators will face fines of $50 upon the first violation and $100 for each additional violation.

It is unclear when the restrictions will be lifted. The National Weather Service forecasts a chance of thunderstorms on both Thursday and Friday.

Williamstown sources its water from three groundwater wells — two on Stetson Road and another off of Main Street — in a confined aquifer, with the Sherman Springs Reservoir and Rattlesnake Reservoir serving as backup in case of an emergency.

The emergency reservoirs have not been utilized, Hoch said.

The wells are pumped into a 2.75 million gallon water storage tank located at the end of Stone Hill Road, according to the town water department's 2015 annual report.

Contact Adam Shanks at 413-496-6376.


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