Today, the water elevation at Great Pond, the town’s main water source, dropped to a level low enough to trigger a State of Water Supply Emergency and mandatory water conservation measures for residences and businesses to protect the town’s water supply. The Great Pond water elevation has dropped to its lowest mark since August of 2016, losing nearly six feet of water elevation since March of this year. The water level is expected to continue to drop into September.
Continued record low rainfall has led to Level 3 Critical Drought conditions in all of Massachusetts excluding the Islands and Western Regions, which are at Level 2 Significant Drought conditions. The just over six inches of rain Weymouth has recorded over the last four months is the lowest amount in more than 20 years.
Weymouth residents and businesses MUST begin to take the following water conservation measures as of September 1, 2022.
Weymouth is implementing these MANDATORY water conservation measures:
- PROHIBIT the use of automatic water devices including sprinklers and soaker hoses.
- Hand-held hoses MAY ONLY BE USED between the hours of 6 AM to 9 AM and 6 PM to 9 PM
- PROHIBIT the washing of vehicles from the town’s water supply.
- PROHIBIT the filling of swimming pools from the Town’s supply.
- PROHIBIT (not permit) organized car washes.
PLEASE NOTE that these mandatory water restrictions apply to the town’s water system usage and they do not apply to private or public wells.
Anyone who violates the mandatory water conservation measures is subject to a fine of $50 for each separate instance of noncompliance.
Below are additional ways Weymouth residents can conserve water throughout the current drought.
In the Yard:
- Stop watering your lawn during drought conditions: Most lawns can survive extended dry periods without watering - they will turn brown, but will revive once the rain returns.
- Capture and reuse rainwater: Use cisterns or rain barrels to capture rainwater from downspouts for use in your yard. A lid, mesh fabric or several drops of baby oil on the surface will prevent mosquitoes from breeding.
- Use plants that need less water: There are many varieties of low water use plants that can withstand dry summers and that actually thrive in drier soil.
In the House:
- Reuse clean household water: Collect all the water that is wasted while waiting for the hot water to reach your faucet or showerhead. Use this to water your houseplants or outdoor planters. Do the same with water that is used to boil eggs or steam vegetables.
- Garbage disposal alternatives: Avoid using your garbage disposal.
- Fix leaking faucets and toilets: Research has shown that an average of 8% (or more) of all home water use is wasted through leaks. Test for a leaking toilet by lifting the lid off the toilet tank and putting a few drops of food coloring into the bowl. Wait a few minutes, then look in the bowl. If the food coloring has made its way there, you have a leak.
- Install a low-flow toilet: Low-flow toilets need only 1.6 gallons per flush, saving thousands of gallons per year. Unlike earlier models, low flow toilets available today receive high marks from consumers for overall performance. Avoid using the toilet as a wastebasket: Every flush you eliminate can save between two and seven gallons of water.
- Brush teeth efficiently: Don't let the water run while you brush your teeth or shave. Turn the faucet on briefly to rinse. An electric razor saves water. Conserve water in the tub: Take showers instead of a bath and save 30 gallons. Filling the bathtub uses about 50 gallons of water. Try filling it just half way.
- Shorten your shower by one minute: Cut back on your shower time and you will rack up big savings in water and energy. If you really want to try and save water, limit your shower time to five minutes or less. Also, install a water-saving showerhead that uses two-and-a-half gallons per minute.
- Wash only full loads of laundry: You'll not only save water, but energy as well. Consider purchasing a new water- and energy-efficient clothes washer: Look for the Energy Star labeled products and save more water in one year than a person drinks in a lifetime. These units create less wear and tear on clothes, clean better, and use less detergent. Some electric utilities offer rebates for qualified models.