GLOUCESTER – Mayor Greg Verga and the City of Gloucester announce water conservation measures are being instituted for two weeks in response to mild drought-like conditions caused by low rainfall totals.
The City will implement an odd-even outdoor watering protocol, in accordance with Section 23-60 of the Gloucester Code of Ordinances. Those at even-numbered addresses may water outdoors on even-numbered days, while odd-numbered addresses may water outdoors on odd-numbered days.
“The City’s three reservoirs are lower than normal due to recent weather conditions, so we are taking these measures to protect and extend our drinking water capacity,” Director of Public Works Michael Hale said. “We appreciate the public’s patience and cooperation, and hope we will be able to lift these restrictions shortly.”
The odd-even protocol extends through Thursday, Aug. 4, when it will be reevaluated.
Drought conditions result in dry grass, shrubbery, and forest areas, as well as dry soil conditions, increasing the wildland fire risk. Fires that burn among these conditions can take multiple days to extinguish and exhaust local resources. Residents are asked to refrain from using fire pits and to take care when disposing of combustible materials.
The City of Gloucester also shares the following tips from the Massachusetts Water Resources Commission on ways to conserve water:
• Limit lawn watering, especially during a drought. Lawns naturally go dormant during dry conditions. They will revive when conditions improve.
• Maintain healthy soils.
• Choose native plants or plants and turf that need less water.
• Use mulch to reduce evaporation and moderate soil temperature.
• Leave grass clippings on lawns to shade and return nutrients to soil.
• Sweep driveways, walkways, patios and other outdoor areas with a broom rather than hosing them off.
• Wash vehicles using a bucket and sponge employing a hose with a shut off nozzle for rinsing only, or, if available, use a commercial car wash that recycles water (most do).
• Cover swimming pools when not in use to prevent evaporation.
• Choose high-efficiency plumbing products and appliances.
• Turn off water while brushing teeth or shaving (“never let the water run”) .
• Take shorter showers and use water-saving showerheads.
• Wash only full loads of laundry and dishes.
• Fix leaky faucets, toilets and pipes as soon as you notice them.
• Create a kitchen compost bin instead of using the garbage disposal.