State announces Westfield’s drought conditions have improved

Granville Reservoir (file - Nov 2016)

WESTFIELD, Mass. (The Westfield News) – The Massachusetts Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs announced the current drought conditions for all parts of the state in a press release on January 6.

It was reported that the region that includes Westfield, has improved its drought conditions.

“We’re still in a drought warning,” said Westfield DPW Director Dave Billips. “But things have improved.”

Related: More of western Massachusetts coming out of “extreme drought”

According to Billips, the water level of the Granville reservoir has gone up a couple of feet. The Granville Reservoir is a main water source for the city of Westfield. However, at least 10 more feet needs to be added to the reservoir in order for it to be filled.

“We need either rain or snow to fill it up,” said Billips.

With the Granville Reservoir being fed by mountain streams, there has to be about 50 inches of snow or at least 10 inches of rain for the water levels to be completely full.

The reservoir is currently offline as it has been since Dec. 28 when the Westfield News reported that the water source was shut down yet again due to the continuing drought.

“It was just getting so low, we had to take it offline,” said Billips.

On Dec. 28, it was reported that the water level was 11 feet below the spillway level. As of Jan. 11, Billips said that the reservoir is 10 feet below the spillway.

As for the wells in Westfield, Billips said that wells two and three are running while one and four can run if they need to. Wells five and six do run when the tank levels need to be kept up but they aren’t running all the time.

The DPW is already preparing for the spring and summer so there doesn’t have to be a water restriction or ban this time around.

“We’re hoping that we don’t have to do that this year,” said Billips.

Billips noted that the Granville Reservoir would pump 5 or 6 million gallons a day in the summer.

Related: Rain was beneficial but drought continues in western Mass.