Watering lawns now prohibited

An alert from the Town of Medfield DPW –

Water Restriction Update – No Outdoor Water Use

** Updated October 14, 2020 **

All nonessential outdoor water use prohibited

Following the state’s declaration of a Level 3 drought for the Charles River watershed, the Town of Medfield is now subject to a mandatory prohibition on all nonessential water use. This restriction goes into effect immediately and remains in effect until further notice. This state-mandated restriction prohibits all nonessential outdoor water use. The state’s announcement of the new restrictions can be found at this link. 

In addition, since Monday, September 28, 2020, the Town has been working on a long-planned maintenance project on the Mt. Nebo Water Tower that will take approximately two months to complete. The Mt. Nebo Water Tower has been drained and taken temporarily offline. The Town’s contractor is making repairs to and painting the outside of the water tower as well as making repairs to the interior of the tank. This project will extend the life of the water tower. The Town currently has only one water tower in operation (the Medfield State Hospital Water Tower). 

The Medfield Board of Water and Sewage and the Medfield Water Department will continue to monitor the weather, water demand, and the Town’s infrastructure throughout the Mt. Nebo project.

Thank you to all residents for your continued diligence in helping to conserve our water resources. 

A Tier 5 water restriction prohibits nonessential outdoor water use. 

Examples of nonessential outdoor water use that are now prohibited include:

  • Irrigation of lawns, gardens, flowers, and ornamental plants via handheld hoses.
  • Uses that are not required for health or safety reasons
  • Irrigation of lawns via sprinklers or automatic irrigation systems
  • Washing of vehicles other than by means of a commercial car wash, except as necessary for operator safety
  • Washing of exterior building surfaces, parking lots, driveways or sidewalks, except as necessary to apply paint, preservatives, stucco, pavement or cement

This water restriction was put into place due to the state’s Level 3 drought declaration for the Charles River watershed.  

The Town’s Water Rules and Regulations include additional information on water restrictions and can be found at this link. MassDEP maintains a list of all communities with water restrictions in place. 

Water uses not subject to mandatory restrictions are those required:

  • For health or safety reasons
  • By regulation
  • For the production of food and fiber
  • For the maintenance of livestock
  • To meet the core functions of a business (for example, irrigation by plant nurseries as necessary to maintain stock).

Thank you for adhering to this new water restriction and working together to reduce our water consumption.

Questions about the water restriction can be directed to Director of Public Works Maurice Goulet at 508-906-3004 or mgoulet@medfield.net

2 responses to “Watering lawns now prohibited

  1. Nic Scalfarotto

    What initiatives are being considered to mitigate these yearly water restrictions and what are the timelines for implementation of actions to resolve our inadequate water supply.


  2. Select Board member Osler "Pete" Peterson


    These are restrictions imposed on the town by the state, based on the drought conditions in the state, rather than being directly related to the amount of water we have available. Although there probably is a correlation. Our water use is controlled more by the amount that the state DEP will allow us to pump than the amount that is available. The Charles River Watershed Association and others argue that towns should only be using about 60 gallons of water per person per day, and when we water our lawns we use way more than that, maybe double.

    The town is currently investigating upgrading an existing well with a new well and a water treatment facility behind Wheelock, that will add substantial capacity. We currently do not use that well much because of the minerals in the water, and it needs to be drilled anew to make it more productive. The cost of that facility and project will go to the annual town meeting (ATM) for approval and its cost is in the range of $8+ m.

    Please let me know if you have any questions.


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