The Select Board, acting in its capacity as Water Commissioners, voted to amend its Interim Mandatory Water Use Restriction to include a section on penalties. The additional language includes a provision which grants the Superintendent of Public Works, Police Chief and Building Commissioner the ability to impose enforcement. An initial offense will result in a warning. Fines for violations under M.G.L. c.40, §21D shall be $50.00 for the first offense and $100.00 for each subsequent violation. Each day a violation occurs or continues will constitute a separate offense. Amherst Town Manager, Paul Bockelman stated, “It is unlikely that we will be forced to impose penalties on Amherst businesses or residents. Compliance has been excellent, but we are still officially in a drought and people need to continue to adhere to the water use restrictions.” The Town of Amherst asks residents to comply with these restrictions to help address the impacts of drought conditions. This is an urgent situation- water conservation steps taken now will preserve water supplies in coming months should drought conditions continue.
"The Town continues to work with its institutional partners - University of Massachusetts, Amherst College, and Hampshire College- on monitoring, reporting and updating one another regarding the situation,” stated Assistant Town Manager, Dave Ziomek. “We have also been working very closely with the Town’s Emergency Response Team and believe that everyone has done an excellent job of staying on top of the situation." Although the situation is improving, Mr. Ziomek has urged vigilance. "I'm asking all residents to work together to help the community thorough this difficult period. We all need to do as much as we can to conserve water now, so we have adequate supplies in September and October." The restrictions will stay in place until further notice and are the result of a continued period of low precipitation and downgrade of the Connecticut River Region from drought advisory to drought watch status by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.
Mandatory water restrictions apply to all customers of the Amherst public water system and include the following prohibitions:
1. Watering lawns, perennial or annual plants/flowers by any method.
2. Washing cars or trucks at non-commercial vehicle washes.
3. Washing of buildings, sidewalks or patios.
4. Filling of swimming pools.
The following water uses are allowed under these mandatory restrictions:
1. For health and safety reasons.
2. By regulation.
3. For the production of food and fiber for personal use or commercial sale.
4. For the maintenance of livestock.
5. By a commercial car wash.
6. For operator safety or to prevent damage and/or maintain performance of agricultural or construction vehicles or equipment.
7. To meet the core functions of a business (for example, irrigation by plant nurseries as necessary to maintain stock).
Please click on the 'tips to save water' under 'Resources' below to find out what you can do to help conserve water!