Ipswich declares a full outdoor water ban effective immediately

Wednesday August 03, 2022

IPSWICH — The Town of Ipswich announces that it has declared a full outdoor water ban effective immediately to protect the Town’s water supply.

The new status applies to both users of town water and those who draw water from private supplies. Residents may continue to use rainwater collected in barrels.

The Town draws water from Dow Reservoir and Bull Brook Reservoir, both in the Parker River Watershed. The Town draws supplemental groundwater from the Mile Lane and Browns Wells in the Parker River Watershed, and Essex Road, Fellows Road and Winthrop Estate Wells in the Ipswich River Watershed. These sources have been taxed due to lack of rainfall in recent months.

“We’re taking these steps to protect our supplies, both for drinking water and for fire protection,” Interim Town Manager Mary Gallivan said. “We ask residents and businesses to follow these restrictions.”

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 Town of Ipswich shares the following tips from the Massachusetts Water Resources Commission on ways to conserve water:

• 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.

• 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.

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