Extreme heat leads to water bans in some communities - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Extreme heat leads to water bans in some communities

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(Image Courtesy: MGN Online) (Image Courtesy: MGN Online)

The lack of rain in recent weeks has prompted some communities to implement water bans.

Monday's heat had people begging for relief, but running through the sprinklers in Northampton to cool off wasn't an option - well not until 5:01 p.m. anyway.
The state requires the city to put a water ban into effect if water levels are below a certain amount. 

Northampton DPW Director Donna Lascaleia told Western Mass News: "According to the terms in the permit, a water use restriction must be declared when the streamflow in the mill river drops below a certain level for three consecutive days."
That means between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., these things are not allowed:

Washing of vehicles, other than by a commercial car wash

Washing exterior building surfaces, parking lots, driveways, and sidewalks - except as needed to apply paint, preservatives, stucco, pavement, or cement

Irrigation of lawns and watering of gardens, flowers, and ornamental plants - except by using a hand-held hose
Plants are still allowed to be watered, just not during peak hours.
Western Mass News First Warning Meteorologist Dan Brown said that western Massachusetts is actually in pretty good shape, drought-wise
"In reality, our drought situation isn't bad.  We are not in drought conditions in 95 percent of western Massachusetts," Brown explained.
Luckily, the conditions this past spring have helped prevent the need for water bans in most other communities at this point.
"We have been running below normal in terms of rain amounts over the last month or so, but we had such a wet spring we can have that in reserve," Brown noted.
If the water levels in Northampton rise for seven straight days, the ban will be lifted.

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