Water Restrictions May Be Relaxed in Town Soon

The Town of Londonderry is looking at a slightly less stringent water restriction policy for summer of 2017, while acknowledging the fact that drought conditions still persist.

Assistant Town Manager Lisa Drabik presented the amendment to the October 2016 “restriction on outside water use” in the April 3 Town Council meeting.

Last year’s ordinance called for a mandatory ban on the watering of all residential lawns in Londonderry, due to “the severe and extreme drought conditions and the impacts there from facing the residents of Londonderry.” Ignoring the ban would result in a tiered system of a warning; a $250 fine; and finally a $500 fine. Per state law the ban can only apply to residential watering, but the town has asked commercial firms to voluntarily comply.

Town Manager Kevin Smith and Drabik have been monitoring the drought situation with the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES), and have learned that Londonderry will suffer from “Severe” drought conditions this spring and summer, compared with last year’s “extreme” drought conditions. To that end, the town will impose a mandatory water restriction of an “odd-even” nature.

Drabik explained, “Residents with house numbers ending in an odd number (1, 3, 5, 7 or 9) will be allowed to water their lawns on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, while those with house numbers ending in an even number (2, 4, 6 or 8) will be allowed to water their lawns on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays.”

The fines are the same as they were last year, Drabik said, and the town is requesting that non-residential property owners comply on a voluntary basis.

The state ordinance is RSA 41:11-d and the town ordinance is Ordinance 2016-07A.

The Council waived the first reading of the ordinance. A second reading and public hearing is scheduled for the April 17 Council meeting.

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