With reservoir levels for the city’s water supply continuing to decline, City of Pittsfield officials announced on Friday a move into Stage 2 of its drought management plan and preparations toward mandatory restrictions, which are expected to be implemented within the next two weeks.
The announcement was made on-site at the Cleveland Reservoir, which is the largest contributor to the city’s water system. City officials included Mayor Linda Tyer; Ricardo Morales, Commissioner, Department of Public Services and Utilities; Bob Bondini, Chief Water Treatment Operator; and Jason Murphy, Water Superintendent.
The announcement comes a week after the city enacted a State of Water Supply Conservation and initiated Stage 1 of its drought management plan in the wake of the state’s Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs declaration of a Level 2 Significant Drought in all seven regions of the Commonwealth.
Under Stage 1, the city issued a voluntary water conservation advisory asking residents to limit the following activities only allowing them before 7 a.m. and after 7 p.m. on alternate days: outside water use in general; watering lawns and gardens; washing vehicles; and filling swimming pools.
“Stage 2 keeps the same schedule for water conservation with the same activity restrictions; however, this stage is mandatory and will be enforced,” said Commissioner Morales. Enforcement will include warnings for a first offense and a fine for repeat offenses.
As of part of its preparations toward the restrictions, today (Friday) the city kicked off a citywide public outreach campaign to ensure residents are informed on the coming limitations for water usage. Messages will be shared widely through the city’s CodeRED notification system, social media, public service announcements, and the city website.
Mayor Tyer said this information will help to support residents prepare accordingly for the changes ahead.
“I know the people of Pittsfield have been through a lot in the past six months and these are difficult times. So much of what we enjoy about our lives has been interrupted. This certainly adds another layer of complications to our daily routines. However, it is extraordinarily important that we all pay attention to our water supply and do what we can to conserve.”
For more information, please contact the Department of Public Services and Utilities at 413-4999330 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.