Chatham Relaxes Some Water Conservation Measures

CHATHAM – As critical drought conditions on Cape Cod drag on, Chatham has rethought its water use restrictions due to perceived equity issues. 

During this week’s select board meeting, members said former rules banning washing of boats and other vehicles while commercial counterparts were exempt was unfair, especially as the summer season draws to a close and residents prepare to move equipment to storage. 

Board member Cory Metters added the distinction was difficult to enforce.

“We ban one category of boats versus another category of boats, that’s not going to be realistic to police. Same with cars. I would personally like to ease off some of this stuff and hopefully rely on people’s common sense to be a good neighbor,” said Metters.

Water Superintendent Tom Barr said the change is unlikely to affect overall water use in a negative way.

“Water usage by far is irrigation systems, and with the majority of them being shut off and people respecting that restriction, having people wash their cars, wipe down their stuff for the winter, I don’t think it is irrational or a bad thing. I think that’s the right direction to go,” said Barr.

Hand rinsing of personal vehicles is now allowed, and the window has been expanded to include midnight through 8 am on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in addition to the 5 pm to 9 pm window. 

The ban on the use of irrigation systems remains. 

The full statement from the town on the latest water conservation measures can be found here.


About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native from Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
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