In 2002, the Wareham Water Department developed a water conservation plan to comply with an Administrative Order issued by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The plan, known as the “sprinkler ordinance,” is codified in the District’s Rules and Regulations. The intent of demand management is to prevent a water shortage rather than to respond to one with a ban; the odd/even sprinkler ordinance is the least restrictive, yet most effective means of water conservation we have.
Demand management applies only to lawn sprinklers; using a hand held hose is not restricted.
The purpose of demand management is to reduce lawn watering during periods of peak demand. Sprinkler usage is restricted to every other day from May 1st through September 30th. If your street address is an even number, water the lawn on even numbered calendar days. If you have an odd, numbered street address, water your grass on odd numbered days.
Without demand management, the District can only maintain water pressure by running all six well pumps at full capacity 24-hours a day. This could result in a breakdown of a well, and a failure of a well would result in a water shortage right when the need is the greatest. As such, the District does enforce the policy and penalties do apply.
For newly seeded lawns, the policy permits a twenty-day exemption. Copies of the odd/even demand management policy, and the new lawn exemption applications are available at the Wareham Water Department Office located at 2550 Cranberry Highway.
Inside Water Conservation Tips
• When washing dishes by hand, don’t let the water run while rinsing. Fill one sink with wash water and the other with rinse water.
• Clean vegetables in a pan of water rather than under running tap water, then use that water to give your plants a drink.
• Run your clothes washer and dishwasher only when they are full. You can save up to 1,000 gallons a month.
• Use the garbage disposal sparingly.
• Turn off the water while brushing your teeth and save 25 gallons a month.
• If your shower fills a one-gallon bucket in less than 20 seconds, replace the showerhead with a water-efficient model.
Outside Water Conservation Tips
• No need to over-water your lawn. One (1) inch of water per week in the summer will keep most common grasses healthy.
• Automatic sprinklers are a great way to water lawns; make sure system is only set when needed, install a rain sensor. Remember our ODD/EVEN Lawn Sprinkler Restrictions are in effect May 1st through September 30th!
• Adjust your lawn mower to a higher setting. A taller lawn shades roots and holds soil moisture better than if it is closely clipped.
• Use a broom instead of a hose to clean your driveway and sidewalk and save water every time.
• Direct water from rain gutters and HVAC systems toward water-loving plants in the landscape for automatic water savings.
• Make sure your swimming pools, fountains and ponds are equipped with recirculating pumps.