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Outdoor Watering Restrictions

OUTDOOR WATER USE RESTRICTION UPDATE (Effective 5/1/2024)

In December 2023, the District received its long-awaited draft Water Management Act (WMA) permit, which included a condition requiring the District to revise its existing seasonal outdoor water use restriction program to align with the stricter limits set forth in the draft permit. To adopt and implement the controls necessary to do this, the District proposed revisions to the District’s Bylaws at the March 20, 2024 Annual District Meeting, which voters unanimously approved. This new outdoor water use restriction program replaces the typical 3 day per week odd/even watering restriction that has been the default for over two decades. The Board of Water Commissioners voted on April 29, 2024 to implement the 2 day per week restriction outlined below as we await the final WMA permit from the state.    

The District would also like to remind customers of the 50% rate increase approved by the Board on January 22, 2024 to support the budget approved by voters at the Annual District Meeting. A copy of the approved budget can be found here. This rate increase applies to the volumetric portion of the water bill, effective with the July 2024 bill, which will represent water used between March and June 2024. Water bills are not expected to increase by 50% due to the structure of the bill; rather, the average water user can anticipate a net increase of approximately 17%. In addition to the volumetric rate, your water bill includes both a fixed service charge and a debt fee which rises and falls relative to the debt payments the District must make. The service charge will remain at $15 per unit per quarter. The debt fee will be reduced from the current $72.50 per unit per quarter down to $66 per unit per quarter. Please be aware of this increased cost as you begin utilizing water outdoors for the season. You can find more information on the rate increase at https://actonwater.com/customer-service/my-water-bill-(july-2024).

Nonessential outdoor water uses that are subject to mandatory restrictions include lawn irrigation via aboveground sprinklers and automated irrigation systems, pool filling, vehicle washing (except in a commercial car wash) and washing of exterior surfaces (i.e. power washing). These activities are restricted to two days per week before 7AM and after 7PM. Each quadrant will be permitted to use water outdoors on one weekday and one weekend day. No outdoor water use is permitted on Mondays. Any violations will be subject to a fine of up to $200 per incident. If conditions necessitate, these restrictions may be changed in the coming months. 

Please note that hand watering of lawns, gardens, and ornamental plantings is not subject to mandatory restrictions. Watering via harvested rainwater, a private well, or other privately owned water source is also exempt from mandatory restrictions. Limiting these activities to before 7AM and after 7PM remains encouraged as a best practice.  

We thank you for your cooperation and any water conservation efforts that you observe. If the favorable hydrologic conditions we are currently experiencing change during the growing season or we experience operational constraints, the number of days nonessential outdoor water use is permitted may be reduced. Updates on the status of our outdoor water use restrictions in the imminent future will be communicated on our website, through our WaterSmart program, and via Twitter and Facebook @ActonWater.

Nonessential outdoor water use, 2 days per week, before 7am and after 7pm. 

 Tuesday & Saturday: North Acton – North of Brook Street including Great Road from Brook Street to Littleton line

 Wednesday & Saturday: Acton Center/East Acton – North of Route 2 to South of Brook Street (562 Main Street follows this schedule) including Pope Road and Great Road to Concord line

 Thursday & Sunday: West Acton – South of Route 2 and West of Main Street (even side of Main Street follows this schedule)

 Friday & Sunday: South Acton – South of Route 2 and East of Main Street (odd side of Main Street follows this schedule)

 

Need help figuring out which days you may use water outdoors?

Use the map above to find your address, enter your address below, or call the office at (978) 263-9107.

Watering Schedule:

Remember that now is a great time to make sure your irrigation system is properly programmed and ready for the spring. Be sure to check your system for leaks and broken and inefficient heads and test your backflow prevention device. Any property observed not abiding by the mandatory restrictions is subject to fines and possible loss of outdoor water use. Do not depend solely on your contractor to properly manage your irrigation system controller. If you are travelling and unable to manage your irrigation system remotely, consider shutting it off prior to your absence.

Healthy established lawns only require up to one inch of water per week during the height of the growing season and benefit from one long soaking versus multiple short soakings. Before irrigating, check that your lawn needs it by looking at recent and forecast rainfall amounts, checking soil moisture at a 6-inch depth, and seeing if footprints remain visible when you walk on the grass.

Thank you for your continued assistance and cooperation in using Acton’s water resources wisely.  It takes the entire community to enable a safe, sufficient, and reliable supply of water.

For additional information on local hydrological conditions and weekly drought status updates, please visit these links: