The Wellesley Department of Public Works (DPW) had been working on a conservation plan before elevated levels of human-made chemicals dubbed PFAS were discovered in the town’s drinking water. But now that the town is in the middle of figuring out short- and long-term plans to address these “forever chemicals” in the water supply, it has made new water restrictions mandatory as of now.
Wellesley shut down its Morses Pond treatment plant in early May, and is now relying on its other two plants, plus water supplied by the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, to deliver safe water to customers. The Morses Pond plant usually supplies over 1 million gallons of water a day, so the town is dealing with a shortage that could threaten available water for fighting fires and other uses if conservation steps aren’t taken.
The fancy sounding “Water Supply Conservation Declaration” from the town requires residents and businesses to follow these rules:
Outdoor Water Use Alternate Day Restrictions
Based upon street address numbers, nonessential outdoor water use is allowed according to the following schedule:
- Odd numbered addresses are restricted to Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.
- Even numbered addresses are restricted to Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday.
- Nonessential outdoor use of water on Monday is prohibited.
Nonessential outdoor watering hours are restricted to before 9a.m. and after 5p.m. Outdoor watering is prohibited during the day.
Essential uses of water are:
- For health and safety reasons
- Irrigation to establish a new lawn and new plantings between the months of May and September
- Agricultural operations to maintain livestock and crops
- Irrigation of lawns, gardens, flowers and ornamental plants by means of a hand-held hose
Nonessential uses are:
- Irrigation of lawns via sprinklers or automatic irrigation systems
- Washing of vehicles, except in a commercial car wash or as necessary for operator safety
- Washing of exterior building surfaces, parking lots, driveways or sidewalks, except as necessary to apply surface treatments such as paint, preservatives, stucco, pavement, or concrete
Reduce Use While Watering
To help maintain appropriate water levels in town storage tanks, the DPW is also asking residents to reduce the amount outdoor watering time by 20%.
Hey, we have a rain barrel! Oh, it’s mostly empty because it hasn’t rained much of late.