NEWBURYPORT — Residents are asked to limit outdoor watering to between 6 to 9 a.m. and 6 to 9 p.m. in the wake of extreme heat and drought conditions.

Newburyport Mayor Sean Reardon announced the restriction in a release Tuesday night, noting that the city's parks and fields would follow the same regulations as residents.

“We ask that everyone in our community remain mindful of the ongoing heat which, combined with the lack of rainfall, has the potential to significantly deplete our water resources if we take no action,” Reardon said. “By adhering to these voluntary restrictions, we’ll be better able to maintain our water supply.”

The city has seen its water supply drop below 90% of the reservoir’s capacity. The Board of Water and Sewer Commissioners established the 90% threshold as a marker that triggers a drought watch.

The city offers the following tips to help residents conserve water and save on their water bills:

• Water lawns no more than every three days, and always during the cooler hours of the day to minimize evaporation. Watering midday can result in up to 30% of the water used being lost to evaporation. Many water customers’ usage increases by two or three times as a result of outdoor water use, and watering a lawn typically accounts for 50% of all outside watering needs.

• Adjust sprinklers to ensure only the lawn is receiving water and that none is being wasted by landing on a home, driveway, sidewalk or street.

• Do not water on days when there is heavy rainfall, and deactivate automatic sprinklers to ensure they do not activate when not needed.

• When mowing, raise the blade of the lawn mower to at least 3 inches high or its highest level. Closely cut grass makes roots work harder, requiring more water.

• Using a layer of mulch around plants reduces evaporation and promotes plant growth. Water-retaining basins allow water to be concentrated around the plants.

• When washing a vehicle, use soap and water from a bucket. Use a hose with a shutoff nozzle for the final rinse.

For more information, call the Newburyport Water Division at 978-465-4420 or 978-465-4466.

Trending Video

Recommended for you