Lynnfield Center Water District Demands Compliance With Outdoor Irrigation Restrictions – John Guilfoil Public Relations LLC | Gmx Pharm

For Immediate Release

LYNNFIELD — Earlier last week, the Lynnfield Center Water District implemented a total outdoor water ban in response to persistently hot and dry weather and above-average customer demand.

The Level 5 ban began July 25 and recognized that drought and emergency conditions will not allow outdoor irrigation of any kind while the district remains at this level of restriction. The designation came after a more than six-day heat wave that saw district water system demands almost consistently double the daily average of 550,000 gallons. As Lynnfield enters another five to six day heatwave coupled with oppressive weather conditions, LCWD is urging residents to heed the restrictions.

The district maintains a year-round irrigation restriction schedule as mandated by the State Department of Environmental Protection, but is increasing restrictions based on current conditions. A Level 3 restriction (limited outdoor watering) went into effect May 13, and a Level 4 restriction (hose or can watering, no non-essential use) went into effect June 16.

The state of Massachusetts has declared a critical Level 3 drought, recognizing five months of below-average rainfall, low to record low stream flow, and declining groundwater. More than 40 percent of the state is believed to be experiencing drought conditions. More than 130 Massachusetts communities have restricted water use, including Reading, Danvers, Middleton, Peabody and Wilmington, to name a few.

“We are a utility company. Our goal is to make water available to people. But right now our system can only produce a limited amount and we need to prioritize system pressure and firefighting over outdoor irrigation,” said Jack Adelson, Chairman of the Board of Water Commissioners. “Right now we have no choice but to implement the restrictions and get local residents to comply. We are not alone. Most of the communities around us and across the state are in the same situation. Just drive around and look at creeks and ponds and other open bodies of water. Everything is very dry.”

The district currently relies solely on groundwater from pumps, which require monitoring and downtime to ensure maximum well production.

“The weather pattern has absolutely impacted this situation. Almost immediately, May 11-14, demand increased from an average of about 750,000 to 800,000 gallons per day to almost 1 million gallons per day and we have not looked back. That was a 20 percent increase almost overnight,” Superintendent John Scenna said.

“Our system runs fairly straight forward to keep up with demand,” said Superintendent Scenna. “Our wells are showing stress and fatigue as demand remains high, putting pressure on us on both ends.”

When daily demand exceeds supply, the district system draws water from storage tanks on Knoll Road and Wing Road. Overnight water consumption limits the system’s ability to recover and refill the tanks. At times, the district has recorded nightly water usage in the early hours, before dawn, of about 150,000 to 200,000 gallons, lowering tank levels by 5 to 6 feet and limiting their ability to recharge in time for daily residential use . Repetitive days of similar usage will eventually impact system operating pressures and fire suppression.

During the heatwave, the district issued a Code Red reminder of the Level 4 restriction and urged customers to limit water use. “Unfortunately, the response has not been positive and demand has remained stable and at high levels throughout the heat of the weekend,” said Superintendent Scenna.

The district and Board of Water Commissioners initiated a capital program that includes connection to the City of Wakefield water system, access to water from the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, and construction of a new green sand filter facility on Glen Drive. When completed, these projects will significantly increase the quality and quantity of available water supplies and reduce the need for usage restrictions. A video of this presentation and the presentation slides can be found here.

“As additional sources of supply come online, we will have more options,” said Chairman Adelson. “We have worked very efficiently and hard on the implementation of these projects for the last two years and we really appreciate the support of our customers.”

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