Town of Sudbury Bylaws Related to Water District Issues

Town of Sudbury By-Laws Related to Water District Issues

At a legal meeting of the qualified voters of the Town of Sudbury, held April 8, 1998 the following business was transacted under Article 22 (Amend By-Laws, Article V – Water Pollution Emergencies).

Voted in the Words of the Article

To amend the Town of Sudbury by-laws, by adding to Article V, Public Safety, a new Section 31, entitled “Water Pollution Emergencies”, as follows:

Section 31. Water Pollution Emergencies
  1. No person shall pollute, corrupt, injure or obstruct the water source or water supply serving the Town through the water distribution system of the Sudbury Water District.
  2. Provided that the Board of Water Commissioners of the Sudbury Water District has declared a water emergency, the Board of Selectmen shall then be authorized to declare water emergencies from time to time as authorized by Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 21G, sections 15, 16 and 17 or through a determination pursuant to Chapter 100 of the Acts of the General Court of Massachusetts or 1934 that a threat of pollution, corruption, injury or obstruction to the water supply exists. The purpose of such a declaration is to conserve and minimize use of water. Following declaration or determination and during such emergency, all outside external use of water from the public water system as supplied by the Sudbury Water District shall be prohibited. Watering lawns, gardens and shrubbery and other landscape watering shall be prohibited. Washing of vehicles shall be prohibited.

    Violators of this by-law shall be subject to the following fines:

    1. Fifty dollars ($50.00) for first offense;
    2. One hundred dollars ($100.00) for second offense;
    3. One hundred and fifty dollars ($150.00) for each additional offense.
  3. This section only pertains to residences, commercial property and industry served by the distribution system to the Town through the Sudbury Water District.

At a legal meeting of the qualified voters of the Town of Sudbury, held April 5, 2000 the following business was transacted under Article 27 (In-Ground Irrigation Systems).

Voted in the Words of the Article

To amend the Town of Sudbury by-laws, by adding Article XXVII, entitled “In-Ground Irrigation Systems” as follows:

Article XXVII. In-Ground Irrigation Systems

It is the purpose of this by-law to establish requirements for the installation of in-ground irrigation systems on residential properties for the protection of the quality and quantity of water supplied by the Sudbury Water District.

All in-ground irrigation systems serving residential uses installed after the effective date of this by-law will be required to comply with the following:

  1. Installation of new in-ground irrigation systems and expansion of existing systems will be permitted only when the source of water supply is a private well owned and under the control of the property owner or a legally created organization of the owners of the property using the well.
  2. All wells installed for the purpose of this by-law shall be subject to the regulations of the Sudbury Board of Health. All wells shall be tested for coliform bacteria and shall require treatment if such tests indicate the presence of coliform.
  3. Installation and continued operation of such systems will be in accordance with the requirements herein:
    1. Private wells for irrigation purposes shall not be located within one hundred (100) feet of a sewage disposal system, within one hundred (100) feet of an existing potable water supply well and within one hundred (100) feet of a wetland or vernal pool.
    2. All wells shall be dug or drilled to a minimum depth of 100 feet, unless it is demonstrated through hydrogeological analysis that the cone of influence of the well at its maximum pumping capacity does not intercept any surface water resource.
    3. There will be no connection between the private water supply and the municipal water service. Separation using valves or removeable sections of pipe is prohibited.
    4. Discharge of water from the private water supply will be through sub-surface sprinkler heads that rise when activated by water pressure. Water from this source will not be available through sill cocks, garden hoses or any other points.
    5. The purpose of the private water supply is limited to irrigation of lawn and plants, and is not to be used for washing automobiles, filling swimming pools or as a potable water supply.
  1. Irrigation systems sourced by private water supplies and operated as described herein shall not be limited to specific hours of operation nor odd/even days of use if the Town declares a water emergency.
  2. All irrigation systems shall utilize moisture sensors.
  3. An Integrated Pest Management Plan shall be compiled and submitted with an application to install an in-ground irrigation system. The plan shall encourage minimal use of fertilizers and pesticides by use of non-chemical methods to control pests, such as by the use of indigenous species of plants.
  4. Sellers of property covered by these regulations are responsible to inform the purchaser of these requirements in any purchase and sale agreement.
  5. A permit to install a new in-ground irrigation system shall be required from the Board of Health and fees for review and inspection shall be established. All other state, federal or local approvals shall be required where necessary.

In-ground irrigation systems installed on land used primarily and directly for the raising of fruits, vegetables, berries, nuts and other foods for human consumption, feed for animals, flowers, trees, nursery or greenhouse products, and ornamental plants and shrubs; or on land to be used in a related manner which is incidental thereto and represents a customary and necessary use in raising such products.

Mandatory Restrictions do not apply to private well users.

So as to eliminate confusion during mandatory watering restriction periods the District provides official “private well” signs to homeowners using a well for irrigation. If you have a private well and are interested in obtaining a sign for your home, contact the District office at (978) 443-6602. It is the feeling of the Board of Water Commissioners that these signs will be helpful and advantageous in determining violators of the restrictions.

Water your lawn and garden only when they need it. Don’t follow a fixed schedule. Water grass and plants only when they show signs of wilting. To find out if your lawn needs watering, step on the grass and then move back. If the grass stays flat, then it’s time to water.

  • Deep-soak your lawn and garden when you do water. Water long enough for the moisture to soak down to the roots where it will do the most good. In this way, the lawn will develop a deeper root system, which requires less watering and is more disease-resistant. A light sprinkling, on the other hand, can evaporate quickly and encourage a shallow root system.
  • Watering during the cooler parts of the day to avoid evaporation. Heat and wind will rob your lawn and garden of water before it can be used. Watering before nine o’clock in the morning is better for your grass since it helps to prevent fungus growth.
  • Let the water sink in slowly. Never water faster than the soil can absorb it. Excess water will form puddles or run off into the gutter.
  • Aerate your lawn. Punch holes in your lawn about six inches apart so water will reach the roots rather than run off the surface.
  • Use a hose with a shut-off nozzle.
  • Position your lawn sprinkler so water lands on the lawn and garden, not on the street, sidewalk, or driveway.
  • Know how to turn off an automatic sprinkler system in case of rain.
  • Don’t leave your lawn sprinkler running all day or turn it on several times during the day.
  • Don’t leave your garden hose unattended. More than 600 gallons of water can be wasted in only a few hours.
  • Keep your grass at least two inches high. Taller grass will shade itself and reduce evaporation.
  • Rid your lawn and garden of “thirsty” weeds.
  • Place a layer of mulch around trees, shrubs, and plants. Two to three inches of mulch will reduce water loss and discourage weed growth.
  • Check for – and fix – leaks in outdoor hoses, faucets, couplings, and automatic sprinklers immediately. Often, outdoor leaks are not as visible as leaks inside your home. But, they can waste just as much water.