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Water ban in Sturbridge?


Seems strange, but spillway low despite wet summer



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The mandatory ban, limiting daytime water use, will be repealed at either the end of the month, or when water flows through the spillway at Westville Dam at the rate of 47.2 feet per second for seven days in a row. Christopher Tanguay. (click for larger version)
September 15, 2009
STURBRIDGE — Despite record-breaking rainfall in the early summer months, a mandatory ban on unnecessary water use has been imposed on Sturbridge, per order of the State Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

The ban, which restricts "non-essential outside water use," between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. every day, will be in place through Wednesday, Sept. 30, or until the Quinebaug River flows through the spillway at Westville Dam at a rate of 47.2 cubic feet per second for seven days in a row.

Edmund Coletta of the DEP explained, "The issue is to protect the aquatic habitat and water resources in the river."

Coletta said in order to maintain the health of natural resources within in the Quinebaug River watershed — rated by the DEP as a medium stressed basin — the towns along the watershed, including Sturbridge, which draw from the river, must agree to one of two types of restrictions to make sure the water table stays at a safe level.

See Thursday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news.

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