Georgetown Water Department Reminds Residents of Ongoing Drought After Lifting Water Ban

GEORGETOWN — Utility Director Marlene Ladderbush announces that the Georgetown Water Department has lifted its water ban, but that residents should be mindful of ongoing drought conditions.

While the water ban has been lifted, residents are asked to continue their conservation efforts as Georgetown remains in a Level 2 — Significant Drought — area.

The ongoing drought is the result of more than five months of below normal rainfall and above normal temperatures, which has had significant adverse impacts on streamflows and begun to have impacts on groundwater — which Georgetown uses as its water source.

As a result, residents should continue to limit their nonessential water use by only , and should also be mindful of potential undetected leaks in their homes that may contribute to

Georgetown Water will provide additional updates as they become available.

Infographic: Georgetown Water Department Reminds Residents to Check for Plumbing Leaks

GEORGETOWN — Utility Director Marlene Ladderbush and the Georgetown Water Department would like to remind residents to check their water meters to ensure that there are no undetected plumbing leaks in their homes.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average household’s leaks can account for nearly 10,000 gallons of water wasted per year, and 10% of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more per day. Worn toilet flappers, dripping faucets and other broken valves are among the most common household leaks. If undetected, these leaks can increase a homeowner’s water bill significantly and be costly to repair. 

“A high water bill can often be the first indicator that there is an undetected leak. If residents do suspect a leak, they should take proactive steps to fix it by first checking their water meters,” said Ladderbush. “Locating a leak will not only help your wallet, but it will also help the environment through water conservation.”

Before checking for leaks, residents should ensure that there is no water being used inside or outside of the house. This includes toilets, dishwashers, faucets, and all other water sources.

Usually, water meters are located in the basement where the water supply enters the house. They may also be found in utility closets, crawl spaces or outside in a service meter pit.

For households with T-10 water meters:

  • Ensure that no water is being used inside or outside of the house.
  • Locate your water meter.
  • Locate the leak indicator. It will look like a small triangular shaped dial. If it is spinning, there may be a possible leak.

For households with E-Coder R900i water meters:

  • Ensure that no water is being used inside or outside of the house.
  • Locate your water meter.
  • Use a flashlight to illuminate the meter’s solar panel. Hold the light in place until the LCD display turns on.
  • Locate the leak indicator. It will appear as a faucet drip icon. If it is flashing or continuously on, there may be a possible leak.

 

For additional information, questions or concerns, please call the Georgetown Water Department office at 978-352-5750.

 

 

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Georgetown Water Department Shares Irrigation System Maintenance Tips

The Georgetown Water Department would like to remind residents to check their irrigation systems to ensure they are running properly to help combat the drought conditions communities across the state are facing.

By fixing broken or misaligned equipment for their irrigation systems, residents can make sure that no water is wasted and that no further strain is placed on the water supply for the town.

The following are common problems and repairs from the Environmental Protection Agency that residents should be aware of to ensure their irrigation system is running as effectively and efficiently as possible:

  • Sprinklers are prone to breaking during routine lawn and landscaping maintenance or when people trip over them. Some of the key signs a sprinkler head is broken, stuck or clogged are if water is spraying wildly or not at all, or if the head doesn’t pop up.
  • Broken water lines can cause your water bill to skyrocket if left untreated. Common signs that a water line may be broken or leaking include depression in the group, water bubbling up or simply a very wet area.
  • Water valves should be checked often to ensure they haven’t become loose, causing water to continuously seep out and be wasted.
  • Sprinklers should be spaced out properly to ensure the entire yard is being covered. Make sure to place sprinklers so they spray directly onto the landscaping and not onto any nearby sidewalks or roadways.
  • If you notice that a section of your yard is being overwatered, adjust the system accordingly.
  • Create irrigation zones in your yard so that similar plants are near each other.
  • Sprinklers with higher and lower precipitation rates should not be placed in the same zone and positioned so that the water from one reaches the next one to prevent both underwatered and overwatered sections.

More information from the EPA can be found here.

Additionally, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection has mandated that the Georgetown Water Department implement water conservation measures. As such, residents will be required to register all in ground irrigation systems, including those using private well water, with the Water Department. All future installations will require a permit. System design and capacity must be included in the permit application.

Those looking to register their irrigation systems can do so by calling Office Manager Christina Bernhard at 978-352-5750 or emailing her at [email protected].

Georgetown Water Department Announces Fall Flushing Schedule

The Georgetown Water Department announces that it will begin its fall flushing program next month.

Water main flushing will begin during the week of Oct. 5 and continue for approximately five weeks. Work will be done from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and the first areas to be flushed will be on the western side of town near the water treatment plant.

The flushing program is done twice a year as part of the water system maintenance, and is intended to help improve water quality and extend the infrastructure’s useful lifespan.

The flushing schedule is as follows:

  • During the week of Oct. 5, flushing will be done in the Central Street, Nelson Street, Little Hill, Baldpate Road, Andover Street, West Street, and Lake Shore Drive areas.
  • During the week of Oct. 13, flushing will be done in the West Main Street, East Main Street, Elm Street, Tenney street and Searle Street areas. Work will not be done Columbus Day, Oct. 12.
  • During the week of Oct. 19, flushing will be done in the North Street and Pond Street areas.
  • During the week of Oct. 26, flushing will be done in the Jewett Street and Thurlow Street areas.
  • During the week of Nov. 2, work will be done in the Jackman Street and Warren Street areas.

Customers may temporarily experience reduced water pressure while flushing occurs in their area. Normal levels should resume once the work is completed. Customers should note that they may experience some discoloration to their water as a result of flushing, which is conducted in order to remove naturally occurring sediment from underground pipes. Any discoloration will clear in a day or two, and residents can run their water to expedite that process. Customers are advised to avoid doing laundry until water is clear, and to avoid using bleach to remove any flushing related stains because it will make the stains permanent.

For additional information, questions or concerns, please call the Georgetown Water Department office at 978-352-5750.

*Joint Release* Georgetown Water and Fire Departments Announce Planned Hose Pressure Testing

GEORGETOWN — The Georgetown Water and Fire Departments announce that the Fire Department will be conducting an annual hose pressure test next week.

The hose pressure testing will take place on Wednesday, Aug. 26.  An independent safety service will conduct the tests by putting water through the fire department’s hose inventory at the maximum service pressure to ensure the hoses continue to be safe for use.

“This annual testing is an important step for the Fire Department to ensure our equipment remains safe and effective for use in town in the event of an emergency,” said Chief Fred Mitchell.

The testing will take place on Martel Way, which is located within a commercial zone in an effort to minimize the disruption to residential customers. However, residents in this area may see some effects of higher than normal water pressure in the system, including temporary water discoloration or water pressure disruption.

“This mandated testing is an important way to ensure that the system is working properly should a fire occur in our community,” Utility Director Marlene Ladderbush said. “We recognize the inconvenience this can have on our residents and businesses and apologize in advance for any inconvenience or disruption that may occur. We thank residents for their understanding.”

 

 

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Georgetown Water Department Drought Status UpdatesLearn More