In accordance with the Greenfield Municipal Code and on the advice of Public Works Director Marlo Warner and Water Facilities Superintendent Mark Holley, Mayor Roxann Wedegartner has declared a State of Water Supply Conservation, requiring mandatory water-use restrictions. As drought conditions persist, the City is instituting the following restrictions on outdoor water use, effective immediately:
“I want to thank everyone for taking these common sense steps to safeguard Greenfield’s water supply and ensure we have enough water for firefighting and other essential needs,” said Mayor Wedegartner. “The voluntary conservation measures we requested a week and a half ago have made a difference, but we need to do more, given the continued dry conditions.”
The Greenfield water system’s daily consumption had been averaging around 2.2 million gallons in the current dry spell. Voluntary conservation measures helped to reduce usage to around 2 million gallons. In normal times, consumption averages nearly 1.7 million gallons.
With the Leyden Glen Reservoir offline for dredging through the summer, the City has been drawing its water exclusively from the Green River and the Millbrook Wellfield. The Green River is at its lowest streamflow in many years. The wellfield is holding up well, but is showing signs of high demand without recharge.
“Though we did get some rain Monday, it doesn’t appear that it will have a significant effect on improving our water situation,” said DPW Director Marlo Warner. “Unfortunately, we have no choice but to impose mandatory water-use restrictions to ensure our remaining water sources aren’t depleted.”
Under the City Code, violations of water-use restrictions carry a $50 fine for the first offense and a $100 fine for each subsequent offense.
“We don’t want to be punitive,” added Warner “If we are made aware of a violation, our first step will be education. We are confident that the vast majority of water users will do their part to conserve; fines will be an absolute last resort.”
The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection has established exemptions to the ban for health or safety reasons, by regulation, for production of food or fiber, for maintenance of livestock or to meet the core function of a business.