Chatham to Impose Voluntary Water Restrictions

Chatham LighthouseCHATHAM – In response to water supply over-pumping last year, Chatham selectmen have declared a state of water supply conservation.

The declaration includes voluntary water use restrictions, effective June 15th and lasting through September 15th.

Such restrictions would include not filling pools or hosing down sidewalks, and watering lawns on rotating days.

Last year, Chatham exceeded the DEP recommended pumpage 10 percent, according to Water and Sewer Advisory Committee Chairman Larry Sampson.

“This is of sufficient concern that voluntary measures need to take place,” he said. “Longer term, I think it is necessary to consider what would happen if we did not see a decline in water consumption because this is a problem we all have on the Cape.”

Sampson cited Harwich as a town in a similar circumstance. That town also had an increase in water consumption last year from the previous year, he said.

Last year, Chatham’s water consumption was 25 percent higher than the previous year, a record water consumption, he said.

The town has the ability to produce 2 million gallons of water from what Sampson called “good” wells, or ones that do not contain any sign of contamination at all.

The water and sewer advisory committee has recommended that Chatham license irrigation systems and assign staff to enforce complimentary conservation actions.

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