A common question is: "Why are developers allowed to build new homes in Topsfield if we need to have water restrictions each summer? The short answer is the water withdrawal permit issued to the Town by the Department of Environmental Protection attempts to balance the environmental concerns of low stream flow with the water needs of the Town. This is done by restricting non-essential use during dry periods while allowing some growth as long as the Town uses its limited water resources efficiently.
WATER RESTRICTIONS DUE TO LOW STREAM FLOW
Water restrictions implemented due to low stream flow are aimed at reducing non-essential outdoor water use, particularly lawn irrigation. During periods of low flow, non-essential outdoor water use is reduced and the balance shifts towards environmental concerns. The modified permit that requires the restrictions took effect during the summer of 2006. From 2006 to 2009, our withdrawals averaged 0.47 million gallons per day (mgd) from May 1st through September 30th during this period. In the ten years prior to 2006 we averaged 0.62 mgd. As a result of some wet summers and the water restrictions, use has dropped by approximately 25% during the summer months.