Town of Georgetown, MA
Essex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town of Georgetown 5-2-2011 Annual Town Meeting, Art. 35.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
[1]
Editor's Note: This article also repealed former Ch. 156, Water, comprised of Art. I, Water Supply Emergency, adopted 6-11-1990 ATM, Art. 29, and Art. II, Water Use Restrictions, adopted 6-26-1995 ATM, Art. 35.
This article is adopted by the Town under its powers to protect public health and welfare and its powers under MGL c. 40, § 21 et seq. This article implements the Town's authority to regulate water use pursuant to MGL c. 41, § 69B.
The purpose of this article is to preserve and maintain the public health, safety and welfare whenever there is in force a state of water supply conservation by providing for enforcement of any duly imposed restriction, requirements, provisions or conditions imposed by the Town or by the Department of Environmental Protection.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
BOARD OF WATER COMMISSIONERS
The Board of Water Commissioners of the Town of Georgetown.
ENFORCING PERSON
The Town's Board of Water Commissioners, its duly appointed agents, employees and members, the Board of Health, the Town police, special police and any other person designated by the Town as having police powers.
A. 
Includes uses that are not required:
(1) 
For health or safety reasons;
(2) 
By regulation;
(3) 
For the production of food and fiber;
(4) 
For the maintenance of livestock; or
(5) 
To meet the core functions of a business (for example, irrigation by golf courses as necessary to maintain tees and greens, or irrigation by plant nurseries or agricultural operations as necessary to maintain stock or establish new plantings).
B. 
Examples of nonessential outdoor uses of municipal water include:
(1) 
Irrigation of lawns, except by means of a hand-held hose outside the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. All hand-held water hoses shall be controlled by a nozzle or other device used to regulate the flow of water leaving the hose.
(2) 
Washing of vehicles other than by means of a commercial car wash, except as necessary for operator safety.
(3) 
Washing of exterior building surfaces, parking lots, driveways or sidewalks, except as necessary to apply paint, preservatives, stucco, pavement or cement.
PERSON
Any individual, corporation, trust, partnership or association or other entity.
STATE OF WATER SUPPLY CONSERVATION
A state of water supply conservation declared by the Town pursuant to § 156-4 of this article. During a state of water supply conservation, the Board of Water Commissioners may impose mandatory restrictions on nonessential outdoor water use as described in § 156-5 of this article.
WATER USERS or WATER CONSUMERS
All public and private users of the Town's public water system, irrespective of any person's responsibility for billing purposes for water used at any particular facility.
A. 
The Town, through its Board of Water Commissioners, may declare a state of water supply conservation upon a determination by a majority vote of the Board that:
(1) 
The current daily use is 80% or more of the daily quantity of water available to the system; or
(2) 
A problem exists that would prevent the Board from supplying an adequate volume of water for the health and welfare of its customers; or
(3) 
A shortage of water exists or is anticipated, and conservation measures are appropriate to ensure an adequate supply of water to all water consumers; or
(4) 
Environmental impacts are unacceptable.
B. 
Public notice of a state of water supply conservation shall be given under § 156-6 of this article before it may be enforced.
A declaration of a state of water supply conservation issued by the Board of Water Commissioners may include one or more of the following restrictions, conditions or requirements restraining the use of water for nonessential purposes as necessary to protect the water supply, which shall be included in the public notice required under § 156-6:
A. 
Nonessential outdoor water use restrictions. Nonessential outdoor water use may be restricted as deemed necessary by the Board of Water Commissioners. For example, nonessential outdoor water use may be restricted to certain days of the week for certain hours of the day outside the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
B. 
Nonessential outdoor water use ban. Nonessential outdoor water use may be entirely prohibited by the Board of Water Commissioners.
Notification of any condition imposed by the Town as part of a state of water supply conservation shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation within the Town, or such other means reasonably calculated to reach and inform all users of water of the state of conservation. Any restriction imposed under § 156-5 shall not be effective until such notification is provided. Notification of the state of water supply conservation shall also be simultaneously provided to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.
A state of water supply conservation may be terminated by a majority vote of the Board of Water Commissioners upon a determination that the condition or conditions set forth in § 156-4 no longer exist. Public notification of the termination of a state of water supply conservation shall be given in the same manner as for the notice of its imposition.
A. 
The enforcing persons, as defined in § 156-3 of this article, may enforce the provisions of this article. Any person violating this article may be subject to civil or criminal enforcement.
B. 
Criminal penalties. Any person who violates any provisions of this article or any regulation or order issued hereunder shall be punished by a fine of not more than $300. Each day a violation occurs or continues shall constitute a separate violation.
C. 
Noncriminal disposition. As an alternative to criminal prosecution or civil action, the Town may utilize the noncriminal disposition procedure set forth in MGL c. 40, § 21D, and §§ 1-4 through 1-8 of the Town Code, in which case any police officer of the Town of Georgetown, including any special police officer, the Board of Water Commissioners, and the Water Department Superintendent shall be the enforcing persons. If noncriminal disposition is used, any person who violates any provision of this article, regulation, order or permit issued thereunder shall be punished by a penalty of $50. Each day or part thereof that a violation occurs or continues shall constitute a separate violation.
A. 
Water users may apply, in writing, to the Georgetown Water Department for an exemption to restrictions on nonessential outdoor water usage during a state of water supply conservation. Exemptions shall only apply outside the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
B. 
Examples of outdoor water uses that may be eligible for an exemption outside the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. during a state of water supply conservation include:
(1) 
Irrigation to establish a new lawn during the months of May and September;
(2) 
Irrigation for the production of food and fiber or the maintenance of livestock;
(3) 
Irrigation by plant nurseries as necessary to maintain stock;
(4) 
Irrigation by golf courses as necessary to maintain tees and greens only; and
(5) 
Irrigation of public parks and recreational fields.
The invalidity of any portion or provision of this article shall not invalidate any other portion or provision thereof.
This article is adopted by the Town of Georgetown under its home rule powers, its police powers to protect public health and welfare and its specific authorization under MGL c. 40, §§ 21 and 21D. This article also implements the Town's authority under MGL c. 40, § 41A, conditioned upon a declaration of water supply emergency issued by the Department of Environmental Protection under MGL c. 21G, §§ 15 through 17.
The purpose of this article is to protect, preserve and maintain the public health, safety and welfare whenever there is in force a state of water supply emergency by providing for enforcement of any duly imposed restrictions, requirements, provisions or conditions imposed by the Town or by the Department of Environmental Protection and included in the Town's plan approved by the Department of Environmental Protection to abate the emergency.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITY
The Town's Board of Water Commissioners, the Board of Health, the Police Department and any other officer having police powers.
NONESSENTIAL OUTDOOR WATER USE
Includes uses that are not required:
A. 
For health or safety reasons;
B. 
By regulation;
C. 
For the production of food and fiber;
D. 
For the maintenance of livestock; or
E. 
To meet the core functions of a business (for example, irrigation by golf courses as necessary to maintain tees and greens, or irrigation by plant nurseries or agricultural operations as necessary to maintain stock or establish new plantings).
STATE OF WATER SUPPLY EMERGENCY
A state of water supply emergency declared by the Department of Environmental Protection pursuant to MGL c. 21G (§§ 15, 16 and 17). During a state of water supply emergency, the Board of Water Commissioners shall prohibit all nonessential outdoor water use as stated in § 156-15 of this article.
WATER USERS or WATER CONSUMERS
All public and private users of the Town's public water system, irrespective of any person's responsibility for billing purposes for water used at any particular facility.
The following shall apply to all users of water supplies supplied by the Town.
A. 
Following notification by the Town of the existence of a state of water supply emergency, no person shall violate any provision, condition, requirement or restriction included in a plan approved by the Board of Water Commissioners to abate a water supply emergency, or in an order approved or issued by the Department of Environmental Protection intended to bring about an end to the emergency.
B. 
Notification of any provision, restriction, requirement or condition with which users of water supplied by the Town are required to comply to abate a situation of water emergency shall be sufficient for purposes of this article if it is published in a newspaper of general circulation within the Town or by such other notice as is reasonably calculated to reach and inform all users of the Town supply.
C. 
Upon notification to the Board of Water Commissioners that the Department of Environmental Protection has terminated a declaration of a state of water supply emergency, public notification of the termination will be provided in the same manner as is provided in § 156-14B for notice of its imposition.
Lawn watering and all other forms of nonessential outdoor water use during a state of water supply emergency are prohibited, and other uses may be restricted or prohibited as provided in the plan of the Board of Water Commissioners or an order approved or issued by the Department of Environmental Protection, described in § 156-14A.
A. 
The enforcing authority, as defined in § 156-13 of this article, may enforce the provisions of this article. Any person violating this article may be subject to civil or criminal enforcement.
B. 
Criminal penalties. Any person who violates any provisions of this article or any regulation or order issued hereunder shall be punished by a fine of not more than $300. Each day a violation occurs or continues shall constitute a separate violation.
C. 
Noncriminal disposition. As an alternative to criminal prosecution or civil action, the Town may utilize the noncriminal disposition procedure set forth in MGL c. 40, § 21D, and §§ 1-4 through 1-8 of the Town Code, in which case any police officer of the Town of Georgetown, including any special police officer, the Board of Water Commissioners, and the Water Department Superintendent shall be the enforcing persons. If noncriminal disposition is used, any person who violates any provision of this article, regulation, order or permit issued thereunder, shall be punished by a penalty of $50. Each day or part thereof that a violation occurs or continues shall constitute a separate violation.
D. 
Shutoff of water service. If a state of water supply emergency has been declared, and a person or entity has been issued three or more notices of violation of this article, the Board of Water Commissioners may, in accordance with MGL c. 40, § 41A, and upon notice to said person or entity, shut off its water supply at the meter or the curb stop. In the event of shutoff, an additional fee of $200 shall be assessed for restoring connection to the Town water supply.
To the extent permitted by law, or if authorized by the owner or other party in control of the property, agents of the enforcement authority may enter any property for the purpose of inspecting or investigating any violation of this article or enforcing against the same. Upon such lawful entry, and in the absence of the water user, the Enforcement Authority may shut off nonessential outdoor water systems.
The invalidity of any portion or provisions of this article shall not invalidate any other portion, provision or section thereof.