Haverhill to Make Changes to Proposed Drought Rules

Haverhill city councilors Tuesday will consider further amendments as they debate changes to city emergency water restrictions.

Haverhill Deputy Public Works Director Robert E. Ward submitted a proposed motion to change language in an outdoor water use restriction ordinance filed two weeks ago which “specifies thresholds at which water restriction would be imposed based on climatic conditions and water levels in the reservoirs.” Ward said “further changes are recommended” since the Aug.9  council meeting,

“The changes include language to clarify ‘nonessential’ outdoor water use; providing flexibility to require more stringent conservation measures during a drought emergency situation; and changing park and recreation irrigation from exempt to exempt subject to review and approval,” Ward wrote to councilors.

With exception to agriculture and “to meet the core functions of a business,” Ward’s amendment would, among others, allow limiting non-essential water use to specific days and hours in a conservation declaration and include automatic irrigation systems in a sprinkler water ban.  Irrigation reviews by the water department could also be enacted, in addition to parks and recreation, for establishing replanted or re-sodded lawn at new or existing homes and businesses, or for use of hand-held hoses.

As WHAV reported two weeks ago, the revised ordinance would establish four water supply drought status levels based on supply capacity reductions thresholds at Kenoza Lake, the city’s main water source. They include a drought “watch” at a five percent capacity reduction; a drought “warning,” at 10 percent reduction; a drought “emergency,” at 20 percent below supply capacity; and “critical” at 35 percent under capacity. The revised thresholds would comply with a Water Management Act Permit issued to the city by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, according to Mayor James J. Fiorentini. Water restriction violators would be subject to penalties ranging from “warning” on first offense, to $100 on third or subsequent offense which also “may be subject to termination of water service.”

The Haverhill City Council meets Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Theodore A. Pelosi Jr. Council Chambers at Haverhill City Hall.

7 thoughts on “Haverhill to Make Changes to Proposed Drought Rules

  1. Is a water park a necessity? How wbaout ball fields being watered during the daytime, is hat a necessity?
    Govt at its finest, do as I say not as I do!

  2. I fully expect a dramatic drop in my water bill due to “conservation” then correct? If I cut my water usage by 25% – will that same percentage correlate with my savings?

    Yea, didn’t think so.

    I’ll keep watering my lawn when, and as I see fit. The city of Haverhill government “officials” can go you know what in a hat.

    They already messed up trash collections – Jimmy the tax boy needs to go.

  3. I’ll water my lawn at my e expense, not my neighbors. I like and take pride in my yard. If my neighbors don’t, that is their choice.
    Pretty pathetic that the city tells you what times to water and also not to water but the sprinkler park can stay on and let’s not forget the ball fields being watered at 11 am.
    Time to practice what you preach!!
    Back to the sprinkler park, I wonder if that water is recycled back into the system.?.?

    • Everyone understands you pay for the water that you use, but if drought conditions continue and there is not enough water to provide necessities, then what?

  4. It’s about time for Haverhill to institute stronger water usage regulations! One has only to walk along the back side of Kenoza Lake to see how low the water level is. When are the residents of Haverhill going to wake up to the diminished level of our water supply?

    It is not necessary to water the sidewalk and the driveway when a lawn is watered, and I question the need to have a green lawn when all others in the neighborhood are withering from the lack of water. Good neighbors don’t water their lawns at the expense of other town residents.