City Ceases Swimming Pool Water Sales; Plans Watering Curbs

Swasey Spray Park. (WHAV News file photograph.)

Splash pad at Swasey’s Field.

Haverhill has stopped selling water to swimming pool companies and Mayor James J. Fiorentini, intends to “set an example” for reducing water consumption by curbing spraying at city parks and recreation areas.

Fiorentini again Monday asked residents to limit outdoor water use to hours between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. due to the lack of rain and decreased water levels at Kenoza Lake and other city water sources. Noting “water evaporates too quickly during the day,” Fiorentini made the request “to avoid our having to place mandatory restrictions.” In response to public comments, Fiorentini acknowledged the city, among other things, stopped selling water to outside companies “about two weeks ago.” Meanwhile, several people pointed out city sprinklers have continued to operate at parks and recreation areas including Swasey Field, GAR Park and the Haverhill Stadium-Riverside Park area.

“It has to be a common sense of shared sacrifice for us to get through this. While everyone has to contribute, no one can wait until everyone else is perfect. If others are not contributing that is all the more reason for each of us to do our part and to start now.”

Fiorentini also did not rule out mandatory water restrictions “if lake levels continue to fall.”

“Despite last week’s showers, the levels at Kenoza Lake continue to drop. We are pumping from Crystal Lake, which is a backup water supply. If, as we anticipate, water levels continue to fall, we will no longer be able to pump from Crystal Lake,” Fiorentini said in a statement.

WHAV has reached out to Recreation Director Vincent Ouellette, however he was not immediately available for further comment.

The voluntary water restriction request comes as Haverhill city councilors tonight are expected to place a proposed ordinance revision to drought-related water regulations on file for two weeks. As WHAV reported Monday, it would “implement an outdoor water restriction program that specifies thresholds at which water restrictions would be imposed based on climatic conditions and water levels in the reservoirs.” According to documents, a drought “watch” would be triggered by a five percent capacity reduction at Kenoza Lake. A drought “warning,” prompting voluntary conservation measures, would come when supply capacity is down by 10 percent. A drought “emergency,” at 20 percent below supply capacity, would impose mandatory outdoor water use restrictions. A 35 percent under capacity threshold would trigger a “critical” drought status and allow, in addition to mandatory restrictions, “additional measures enacted to preserve the water supply.”

Under the amended ordinance, water restriction violators would be subject to a warning for a first day offense and a $50 fine the second day. Third and subsequent violation days would call for a $100 fine each and the water customer “may be subject to termination of water service.”

2 thoughts on “City Ceases Swimming Pool Water Sales; Plans Watering Curbs

  1. In response to public comments, Fiorentini acknowledged the city, among other things, stopped selling water to outside companies “about two weeks ago.”

    What public comments? When did the city ever solicit input from citizens of the city? Does this mean from the city’s or mayor’s Facebook page? The Facebook page where if you challenge the incompetent hack or dare to disagree with him he BLOCKS you from ever commenting again?

    It’s outrageous that Fiorentini is influenced by a select few people to impact businesses that pay for water to conduct their business just like everyone else. What businesses are next…laundromats? Gyms? How about the fire department…will they have to cut back too?

    Does anyone remember the very public battle that occurred by this incompetent mayor and a city councilor who wanted to tap the Merrimack River as a source of water? Remember the mayor refused to even explore the possibility, citing Haverhill had plenty of sources of water and it would never be necessary? When the city runs dry everyone should know that it is this mayor who is solely responsible.

    • Good point Jack. The river would have been a great option. But, why be pro-active ? This Mayor is reactive and always waits until it is a crisis so he can look like the savior. I think the veneer is wearing thin though and people are seeing through his coat of armor !