For Chelmsford, region, drought ends, but watch remains

“That is all you can be — you never know what the weather is going to do,” said Todd Melanson, environmental compliance manager for the Chelmsford Water District.
The North Chelmsford Water District covers about 15 percent, with the remaining users in the East Chelmsford Water District.
“With the state experiencing above average precipitation for the past few months, and the continuation of best water conservation practices administered by the public, the Commonwealth’s water systems have finally reached normal conditions after two plus years of running a deficit,” Beaton said in the press release.
“And as we move into the warm-weather months, when water use is at its peak, we encourage water suppliers to work with their customers to continue their efforts to use water wisely.” Many factors Melanson has attended many meetings of the Drought Task Force, coalesced under the auspices of the Energy and Environmental Affairs.
“Keeping in mind that the conditions of last year were a culmination of the previous two years of well below-average precipitation in our specific area — with increased temperatures — were the leading reasons for the drought declarations by the State and for the pro-active District reaction of increased restrictions per our Summer Management Plan,” Melanson said.
“That can always change, and that is an overall look,” Melanson said.
In the past six years of graphs marking precipitation data, Melanson said three years — 2012, 2015 and 2016 — showed precipitation at “well below average.” The year 2014 rated as average, and 2013 was slightly above average, Melanson said.
In some cases, we changed our restrictions, because of our local conditions, and other places didn’t.” Restriction in effect An annual water restriction spans May 1-Oct. 15 in the Chelmsford Water District.
Currently that restriction, is also Level One — with corresponding odd and even-numbered watering days, and a choice of 6-9 a.m. or 6-9 p.m. Harper said, “This restriction is required by our water registration requirements with Massachusetts DEP.” The restrictions cover specific high-volume outdoor watering, such as with a garden hose or through irrigation.
“There is a level we have to maintain,” Melanson said.

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