Pittsfield and The Berkshires are experiencing a hot and dry summer, so with that comes some necessary water restrictions, unfortunately.

With a fast-increasing depletion of the water supply at the Pittsfield Cleveland Reservoir, the city of Pittsfield’s Department has enacted a State of Water Supply Conservation to ensure an adequate supply of water for fire protection and emergency response effective Monday, Aug. 8.

The enactment, which falls under the city’s Stage 2 Drought Management Plan, implements mandatory water restrictions.

With most of the state currently experiencing elevated temperatures and forecasts predicting little to no meaningful precipitation, on Friday Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Beth Card declared a Level 3-Critical Drought in the Northeast and Central regions of the state. The Southeast, and Connecticut River Valley Regions will remain at a Level 2-Significant Drought, and the Cape Cod Region will join the Islands and Western regions at Level 1-Mild Drought.

Under Stage 2, restricted activities include outside water use in general, watering lawns and gardens, washing vehicles, and filling swimming pools. These activities are only permitted before 7 a.m. and after 7 p.m. and are limited to alternate days. Addresses ending in even numbers may water on even days of the month. Addresses ending in odd numbers may water on odd days of the month.

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Please be aware that these restrictions will be enforced by the Department of Public Services and Utilities and will include fines for violations. These include a written warning for the first violation; a $50 fine for the second violation; and $300 for subsequent violations.

“Over the last month, we have identified a steep trend in the water level at the Cleveland Reservoir, and together with scarce significant rain we have made the decision to establish a Drought Watch (Stage 2) which includes mandatory water conservation. It is crucial as it helps slowing down the decline.” said Commissioner Ricardo Morales, of the Department of Public Services and Utilities. “With these measures in place, the main goal is to slow the decline and ensure adequate water supply.”

For more information, please contact the Department of Public Services and Utilities at 413-499-9330 or email dpw@cityofpittsfield.org.

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