Mindful water usage and measures to conserve and protect our water supply are important factors in maintaining potable water sources in Needham. The Town must pump water into our two water tanks to provide sufficient pressure and volume to meet the needs of the Town and with warm dry weather in the growing season the high volume of water consumed increases the pressure and stress on our water system. Environmental factors such as high temperatures and low precipitation levels require the Town to draw an increased amount of water daily from our water sources. While the Town is able to maintain the community’s water needs, voluntary efforts to conserve water remain important and make us all good stewards for water and energy conservation.
Our average usage in non-irrigation system is 2.570 million gallons per day (mgpd). Recently, the Town has exceeded 6 mgpd on multiple days which put a serious strain on our water system. Below is weekly totals of the volume of water pumped. We are providing this information to help heighten awareness of when Needham is experiencing higher usage (i.e. 6 mgpd) to help alert residents to when it is critical to be especially conscience about outdoor water usage in particular.
Some suggestions to minimizing use of water outdoors:
- Change watering method to hand-held only or drip irrigation.
- Water after 5PM or before 9AM to avoid evaporative losses.
- Consider covering a pool when not in use to prevent evaporation.
- Wash vehicles with a bucket and sponge and only hose to rinse, etc.
- use collected water from other sources like running the shower, rinsing dishes, and even from rain using rain barrels (for those who may be interested, the Needham Department of Public Works offers rain barrels for purchase) to water your gardens;
- Fix any leaks in irrigation systems.
Remember, most grasses planted in New England are meant to go brown during drought conditions to protect the roots system and will come back when conditions return to normal. Grasses have developed the response defense of going into summer dormancy as a protection.
|Above average usage|
|Over 6 mgpd|
The Town takes the following actions to conserve its own water use:
- Watering only in the early morning or at night. In fact, daytime watering is harmful to plants and should be avoided.
- Using wetting agents on athletic fields. This allows the Town to water less and irrigate more efficiently. Athletic fields must continue to be responsibly watered for playing safety.
- Watering deeply and infrequently. This trains plants, trees, and grasses to toughen up, and forces these plants to mine or dig deep to find their essential water, creating a healthier rooting system.
- Understanding weather patterns and adjusting accordingly.