Worcester County

Outdoor water restrictions raise frustrations in MA communities

HUDSON, Mass. — In the Central Massachusetts town of Hudson, along Route 495, summer is making its annual pretty arrival.

Trees, flowers, all in full bloom, on this picture perfect afternoon.

But rain, as it often is, is scarce.

And with the annual water ban in place, that means it’s getting harder and harder for residents here to maintain their lawns and summer gardens.

“We have owned the home, I believe, five years, and it’s been every single year that we’ve been here,” homeowner Karen Beit said.

“We try to keep our yard looking nice and when we can’t water, it just turns brown.”

Hudson is on a Level 3 Water Conservation Watch.

That means people here can only water their lawns or use outdoor water from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m.

The town cites its by-laws saying water restrictions are put into place when levels of water shortage or drought are identified.

Those restrictions could go to a complete ban on outdoor watering if an emergency is declared.

Residents here say they are frustrated.

They say the ban is an annual event.

“I don’t water the lawn anymore because of the restrictions and sometimes I’m not at home when they allow us to do the lawn watering,” said homeowner Jignesh Bhanderi.

Andrew Strezepek is so frustrated, he’s installed a barrel system to collect rainwater for his outdoor use.

His 50 gallon tank is full

“I use that to wash my car and supplement some watering just to get around the restrictions and the high water price,” Strezepek said

Other neighboring towns, like Berlin, have little or no water restrictions in place.

Many of them rely on private wells.

In Hudson, it all adds up to an annual frustration.

“I think a lot of town people are getting fed up with it. Because there is no real answers or justification,” said Strezepek.

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