The Hamilton Board of Selectmen have declared the town in a state of water supply conservation, meaning that outdoor sprinkler use is prohibited.
The decision came in a vote at the Board of Selectmen meeting this week. Hand watering will still be allowed.
A complete copy of the decision is below:
Pursuant to Chapter XXV, Section 5 of the Town of Hamilton By-Laws, the Hamilton Board of Selectmen has determined that there exists or impends a shortage of water, and that conservation measures are appropriate to ensure that an adequate supply of water is available to all users, including firefighting operations and that water withdrawal volumes remain within permitted and registration limits; and that any conditions set forth in the town’s water withdrawal permit are satisfied. As a result, the board hereby declares a State of Water Supply Conservation. The following restrictions, conditions, or requirements are hereby imposed on all users of the town water system and to users of private water sources that draw from the same water sources and will remain in effect until termination of the State of Water Supply Conservation by vote of the Board:
H. Outdoor Sprinkler Use: The use of lawn and garden sprinklers of all types, including the use of drip irrigation hoses or other devices that use subsurface application is prohibited. Hand watering is permitted.
Voluntary water restrictions are in place in Hamilton as the Hamilton Department of Public Works encourages public participation to help conserve water.
There continues to be filtration issues at the Hamilton water treatment plant with the increasing demand, according to Hamilton DPW Director Tim Olson. That has led to the implementation of voluntary water restrictions to help conserve water.
The possible need for mandatory water restrictions is scheduled to be discussed at the next Board of Selectmen meeting on Monday, June 19 at 7 p.m. in the Memorial room at Hamilton Town Hall.
In addition to the voluntary water restriction, mechanical lawn watering is not allowed between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. through Sept. 30, as is the case every year, according to the Hamilton Outdoor Water Use By-Law.
The mandatory water ban in Hamilton – which has been in place since June – has expired, as of Nov. 1.
There are now no further restrictions on the time or type of watering that is allowed, but water conservation continues to be encouraged, said Town Manager Michael Lombardo.
The boil water order in Hamilton has been lifted by the state Department of Environmental Protection, as of 2:50 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 28.
The townwide outside watering ban is still in effect and Hamilton residents are urged to conserve water.
Both the Hamilton Police Department and Hamilton Department of Public Works have been asked by Hamilton Town Manager Michael Lombardo to report any properties using sprinklers in violation of the water ban.
Lombardo said based on that information he will then send the violator one warning notice and after that they will face fines of $50 for the first offense and $100 for subsequent violations.
To date, Lombardo said he has received calls and emails about properties that have been using sprinklers and sent them a warning letter to remind them about the water ban.
If Hamilton residents witness improper watering, they can call Lombardo at 978-468-5572 or email him (email@example.com) or call the non-emergency line at the emergency communications center at 978-468-1212 to report it.
David Dolan, Hamilton primary water treatment plant operator, said that the drought combined with illicit water use has the town’s wells down and the plant labors hard to process water from deep down because of water quality.
The water ban remains in effect across Hamilton, with absolutely no mechanical watering of any kind allowed. The water ban applies to both private wells and municipal water users.
Hand watering only is allowed between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m.. Additional, Hamilton residents are required to limit non-essential water usage.
Hamilton Town Manager Michael Lombardo said town officials have begun to send out warning notices to violators of the water ban and if there are further violations there will be a $50 fine for the first offense and $100 fine for every subsequent violation.
Some residents with a private wells do not know that the water ban applies to them, Lombardo said, and he emphasized that the water ban applies to all water users in Hamilton.
A mandatory water ban is effective immediately in Hamilton, the Hamilton Water Department has declared.
The water ban was enacted after three consecutive days where the Ipswich River was below levels adequate to protect stream flow for aquatic life and ensure a sustainable drinking water supply.
It means that all outside mechanical water use is prohibited in Hamilton and hand-held watering is allowed only between the hours of 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. Residents are also required to limit all non-essential water use.