Southwick water ban in effect immediately

The restriction isn’t common to the community of Southwick

The reduced water levels on the Westfield River was what ultimately triggered the water restriction. (WNG File Photo)

SOUTHWICK, Mass. (The Westfield News) – The Town of Southwick’s Board of Water Commissioners has finalized their Water Withdrawal Permit with the MassDEP.

The water restriction is in effect immediately as of July 1. The restriction revolves around non-essential outdoor water use.

Key examples of non-essential water use that have been identified as irrigation of lawns, car washes at a residence, and washing the outsides of buildings, driveways, parking lots, and sidewalks.

Irrigation systems and sprinklers are part of the non-essential water use in the restriction. (WNG File Photo)
Irrigation systems and sprinklers are part of the non-essential water use in the restriction.
(WNG File Photo)

The restriction isn’t common to the community of Southwick.

“This is something unique with Southwick,” said Southwick Department of Public Works Director Randy Brown. “There are certainly a lot of questions to answer.”

Every customer of the Southwick Water Department is required to obey to the restrictions. If residents choose to not comply with the water ban, a warning will be issued on the first violation, followed by each subsequent violation resulting in a fine.

A main restriction to the town’s water usage will be allowing just one day a week for non-essential outdoor water use. As discussed in the recent public hearing, Southwick residents will only be able to use their non-essential outdoor water before 9 a.m. and after 5 p.m. on a specific day. The day depends upon which region of the town residents live in. The MassDEP and Southwick DPW have formed the schedule seen below:

  • Monday – North Region, odd number properties
  • Tuesday – North Region, even number properties
  • Wednesday – South Region, odd number properties
  • Thursday – South Region, even number properties

The spread out schedule is something that will work most effectively for the town’s water supply. Brown discussed why the schedule has the community using their non-essential outdoor water on different days.

“Our pumps couldn’t accommodate having everyone in town on the same day,” said Brown.

The water restriction was put in place to the fact that water levels in town needed to be reduced. The main reason why is due to the low daily stream flow in the Westfield River. The months of May and June saw the stream flow in the river fall below 502 cubic feet per second for three straight days. In the months of July, Aug., and Sept., the stream flow was 174 cubic feet per second for three consecutive days as well.

“That’s the trigger right there,” said Brown.

There will be no water use restrictions between the months of October through April.

With the restriction already in effect, Brown stated that the ban could continue through Sept. 30. He also made it known that the ban could be diminished during the months of July, August, and September if the stream flow of the Westfield River has reached the threshold for seven consecutive days. An official public decision to the town to stop the ban would be made with a separate notification through the Town of Southwick.

The water restriction on the Town of Southwick for non-essential outdoor water use is not a decision that Brown wanted to make, but rather a decision that was very much necessary.

“It’s something that we have to do,” said Brown. “We need to adapt.”

Brown and the rest of the Department of Public Works are encouraging the community to visit the Town of Southwick website and the water restriction link is at the top of the website.

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