Update on Southwick water restriction

drought monitor little rain

SOUTHWICK, Mass. (The Westfield News) – Since July 1, a water use restriction has been in effect for the Town of Southwick. The water restriction focuses on non-essential outdoor water use, including irrigating lawns, residential car washing, washing the outsides of buildings, driveways, parking lots, and so on.

In a previous article from the Westfield News, speaking with Southwick DPW Director Randy Brown about the water restriction on August 8, the article states, “According to Brown, before the water restriction was in effect, the town of Southwick was pumping anywhere from 1.8 to 2 million gallons per day.

As the restriction is still ongoing, Brown said that as of last week, the latest average is at 1 to 1.4 million gallons per day.

“Our water usage has leveled out since we’ve put the water use restriction in effect,” said Brown. “People have adapted their water usage appropriately for the most part.”

The Town of Southwick, along with Brown, has had to deal with citizens that aren’t complying with the mandatory water ban.

The town was able to come up with a set of violations for anyone that doesn’t follow the restrictions of residents only being able to use their outdoor water once a week and only before 9 a.m. or after 5 p.m.

The first-time offender of the restriction usage will receive a written warning mailed to their home from the DPW. A $50 fine for each subsequent violation would then result for a second-time offender.

As of September 21, Brown noted that the DPW has sent out 50 to 60 warnings to residents of Southwick and was planning on sending out 10 more letters on Wednesday.

For the level of second-time offenders, the DPW has only had to give out anywhere from five to ten fines.

Having a high majority of the town cooperating with the water restriction goes a long way for the DPW.

“It helps us manage our water withdrawal permit,” said Brown. “We’re permitted to only draw so many gallons out of the aquafer.”

With the process continuing for more than two months, Brown appreciates and still encourages the community to comply with this restriction as long as it is in effect.

“Whatever folks can do to offset their usage, we definitely see it on our end,” said Brown.

Despite the warm weather this summer that has carried into the month of September, Brown expects the average gallons per day to fluctuate with colder weather expected in the near future.

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