By Jonathan Phelps
---- — WENHAM — A mandatory outdoor watering ban is in effect.
The ban prohibits all “nonessential outdoor watering,” including but not limited to the use of water for irrigation or automobile and property washing, according to a statement from Erik Mansfield, superintendent of the town’s water department.
“Flows in the Ipswich River have fallen below the minimum level deemed necessary to sustain a healthy watershed,” Mansfield wrote. The ban also includes water from private wells.
Water can be used when required for health or safety reasons; by regulation, for the production of food and fiber; for maintenance of livestock; to meet the core functions of a business or as necessary to apply paint, preservatives, stucco, pavement or cement.
Hand watering is allowed from 5 p.m. to 9 a.m. daily. Violators of this order shall be subject to fines of up to $100 per offense.
Staff writer Jonathan Phelps can be reached at 978-338-2527 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at JPhelps_SN.