Water ban = odd even

water towers at MSH

Photo by Richard DeSorgher

Medfield Press article on the current water ban and high usage.  The state triggers the water ban, which the town is required to declare, and the town is also required to enforce it.

Mike Sullivan told me this week that Ken had told him that the water levels in the Mt. Nebo water tower went down 17′ in one day, and that it is especially problematic as the town is currently trying to fill up the new Medfield State Hospital water tower.  The town has been lucky not to have had an emergency water need, such as for a large fire, while we were on only one water tower, as we could have run short.

Medfield water ban in effect until October

Water ban in full effect until October

Posted Jun. 28, 2016 at 3:39 PM


Department of Public Works Director Ken Feeney said Medfield is under a water ban from June 15 until October in an effort to combat what he called a “crisis level for water.”

He said the water ban will limit homeowners to watering their lawns every other evening, with no watering at all from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Even numbered houses will be able to water their lawns on even numbered days, and odd numbered houses will be able to water on odd numbered days outside the 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ban.

Feeney said the town is in a dry spell right now, with June usually being a tough month because schools are getting out for the year and families are not on vacation yet. He said this creates greater water consumption at home. He said the town usually pumps about 900,000 gallons a day for water in the winter, but is currently pumping 120,000 gallons an hour at 20 hours a day – almost three million gallons a day, Feeney said. He said the water tower was down to 72 feet full, while the town tries to keep it at 90 to 98 feet full.

“We are using to many gallons a day on lawns,” he said. “Every small town with water wells has a hard time this time of year.”

It has been hard getting residents to follow the ban, he said. There is a warning, then a $50 fine if residents don’t comply. The third step is a $100 fine and the final step is shutting off someone’s water. The fines can be issued by the town or police.

4 responses to “Water ban = odd even

  1. Has the town ever issued a citation? Has anyone ever had their water turned off?


    • Selectman Osler "Pete" Peterson

      Bob, I have never heard of anyone being sanctioned. However, that is not the sort of thing selectmen tend to be involved with, but I might well hear if it did happen, where it is so rare. In Mike’s call to me, he did mention that the police might have to “start” issuing tickets if there is no compliance.


  2. Without even a warning issued I would expect compliance (and publicity) to be very low. Similar to wetlands regulatory compliance. ff not a known issue, it will not be complied with out of ignorance of the law. Not a justification, just a statement of opinion.


    • Selectman Osler "Pete" Peterson

      Bob, The town has a new Superintendent starting work 8/1, and perhaps he will have ideas on how to educate and inform the public as you suggest. I agree with your thinking, that we cannot expect compliance unless we first both inform and educate. Unfortunately, there is not a strong town information push system that informs people about such town issues. The schools have that ability because they have email addresses for all parents. That ability of the town to push the information out to the residents is supposed to be coming in the new version of the town website – residents would opt in to get notices – it is greatly needed.


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