Mayor Greg Verga and the City of Gloucester report that a temporary ban on all non-essential outdoor water use is being extended until the end of September due to continuing drought conditions.
The City implemented a two-week ban on all non-essential outdoor water use beginning on Sept. 1.
The ban is now being extended until September 30th. Despite some recent rainfall, drought conditions persist and the City's water capacity remains at just 51 percent. The status of the ban will be reevaluated on September 30th.
"I would like to ask all Gloucester residents, whether they use city water or have private wells, to help us preserve our natural resources during this critical drought period," said Mayor Verga. "I appreciate residents' cooperation and understanding of these necessary restrictions. We intend to keep this ban in place for as short a time as possible, but despite some recent rainfall, conditions remain critical, and we cannot responsibly lift the ban at this time."
The Northeast Region of Massachusetts remains in a Level 3 Critical Drought. Per MassDEP, this level of drought warrants such a ban on all non-essential outdoor water use. DEP lists consider “essential” water use as:
for health or safety reasons
for the production of food and fiber
for the maintenance of livestock
to meet the core functions of a business
Failure to adhere to the restrictions can lead to the imposition of fines.
Drought conditions result in dry grass, shrubbery, and forest areas, as well as dry soil conditions, increasing the wildland fire risk. Cape Ann communities have seen multiple brush fires in recent weeks. Brush fires take multiple days to extinguish and exhaust local and regional resources.
All outdoor fires, including the use of outdoor fireplaces, firepits, and chimineas are prohibited during this time of critical drought. Residents are also asked to take care when disposing of combustible materials including the disposal of cigarettes.