📷 Shaun Moriarty file photo

Recent rainfall eases town’s water restrictions

STURBRIDGE — With storms and rain adding up over the last few days, and more wet weather in the immediate forecast, local water usage restrictions have been eased for the time being.

Town Administrator Leon Gaumond announced on Tuesday morning the Sturbridge Water Department has been required by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection to enter into a voluntary water ban, downgrading from the previously established mandatory water ban. The change is made dependent on the flow rate of the Quinebaug River over a three-day span. The length of the downgraded water ban will be determined by that flow rate.

According to regulations, non-essential outside water use is now allowed, except that sprinklers may be used for lawn watering outside of the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. one day a week. In a notice on the Town website, it is noted that “Watering your lawn during the day wastes water due to the evaporation that occurs. Some experts say that as much as 50 percent of the water will evaporate before it soaks into the ground on a hot sunny day.” Non-essential water use is defined as water use that is not required for health or safety reasons, by regulation, for production of food and fiber, for the maintenance of livestock, or to meet the core functions of a business.

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