Water Restriction in Place – May 1-Oct. 1

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Lawn sprinklers, either underground or hose fed, must adhere to the following schedule:

ODD NUMBERED HOMES:  MON. & THURS.–6PM TO 8PM ONLY

EVEN NUMBERED HOMES:  TUES. & FRI.–6PM TO 8PM ONLY

NO lawn sprinklers, either underground or hose fed, may be used on the weekends.

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Residents may use one hand held hose, fitted with a spray nozzle, without restriction.

Exemptions to this policy may be granted for newly  installed lawns for up to 14 days. Violators will be cited and subject to a surcharge on their

next water bill.  Violations will carry forward for three years.

1st offense – Warning
2nd offense – $50.00
3rd offense – $100.00
4th offense and subsequent offenses – $300.00

To request an exemption, to report water violations, or for any questions, call the Water Department: 781-784-1525 x2315

WaterSmart Software Program Unveiled

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The Sharon Water Department has partnered with the WaterSmart Software Company to introduce a free service to help with residential water conservation.

dashboard_drought_emailWhile Sharon residents are doing a commendable job on conserving water, there’s always room for improvement, and that’s just what the WaterSmart Program does.

By now, you should have received a “welcome letter” from WaterSmart.  Once you’ve completed the survey and registered for the program, you’ll begin to receive personalized easy-to-read Home Water Reports, which will offer customized, water-saving recommendations.

Benefits of the WaterSmart Software Program

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  • Using the customer portal, you’ll be able to see exactly where water use occurs in your home, in gallons per day.
  • You’ll have access to an interactive water-saving recommendation library, customized specifically for your household.

On your welcome letter, you may have noticed that some of the data specific to your account, such as household size, is not correct. This is because some information was estimated based on algorithms from Town databases, including lot and house size from the Assessor’s Office, aerial photos for lawn size, and Water Department records for past water use.

As you register and update your account with the correct number of occupants, you will get the most relevant and accurate information in your Home Water Report.

Be assured, we use your email address only to send you details about your water-use and important water-related programs. We do not provide your email address to any third party vendors. You also have the option to switch to receive Home Water Reports via mail at any time.

Get started today by accessing your account at www.townofsharon.watersmart.com

If you have any questions about the program, please contact the Sharon Water Department at 781-784-1525 x2315.

The WaterSmart Program does not replace your quarterly water bill.  And while the Sharon Water Department would like all of its customers to sign up for this free program, it is not a mandatory requirement.

Update on Water Main Replacements

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WATER MAIN DIGGING TRENCH

The Brook Road project was scheduled for this summer, but unfortunately had to be delayed due to scheduling conflicts with the gas company, which was replacing its transmission main at the same time.

The Water Department had a very busy summer replacing multiple town water mains, and is appreciative of the public’s patience as they finalize road paving over the next few months, as weather permits.

The only water main replacement currently ongoing is replacement of an asbestos-cement section of main between the parking area at Mann’s Pond and Billings Street. This work should be completed by the end of September with final paving scheduled for next spring.

The Glendale/Glenview/Rob’s Lane water main replacement has been completed, with final road paving and sidewalk replacement to be finished by October 1.

The Massapoag Avenue water main replacement between the rotary and Community Center Drive was also completed this summer, with final road paving and sidewalk replacement to be completed by November 1.

Brook Road is tentatively scheduled for water main replacement and paving next year.

Proposed Water Rate Increase

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2014-2015 Proposed rates chart

Click on chart for larger image.

In keeping with the approach adopted previously by the Water Management Advisory Committee of having regular relatively small rate increases, the Water Department has proposed a modest water rate increase beginning Jan. 2015, that should result in an increase in department revenues of about 3.5%.

The proposed increase was presented to the Water Management Advisory Committee on August 21 and approved by the Committee for presentation to the Selectmen.

The lowest water rates will remain unchanged, while the top block summer rate has been increased to target top irrigation users, and encourage conservation.

A public hearing to review the proposed rates is tentatively scheduled for the Oct. 28th Selectmen’s Meeting.

Please contact DPW Superintendent, Eric Hooper with any questions at 781-784-1525 or ehooper@townofsharon.org

Water Use Restrictions from May 1-Oct. 1

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sprinkler-headWater use, much like electricity, has peak hours that stress the system. Sharon’s water use restrictions allow our water tanks to refill after peak demand, ensuring fire fighting capability, and lessening the environmental impact of well-pumping.

Lawn sprinklers, either underground or hose fed, must adhere to the following schedule:

  • Odd Numbered Homes–Monday & Thursday–6pm to 8pm ONLY
  • Even Numbered Homes–Tuesday & Friday–6pm to 8pm ONLY
  • Residents may use one hand held hose, fitted with a spray nozzle, without restriction.

For the most efficient use of water, residents should avoid irrigating when it’s windy.

Violators will be cited and subject to a surcharge on their next water bill.

Violations will carry forward for three years. All violations prior to 2011 are void.  To report water violations, please call: 781-784-1525

  • 1st offense – Warning
  • 2nd offense – $50.00
  • 3rd offense – $100.00
  • 4th offense and subsequent offenses – $300.00

Exemptions to this policy may be granted for newly installed lawns for up to 14 days.  To request an exemption, or for any questions, call the Sharon Water Department: 781-784-1525 x2315

In cases of extreme hardship, special consideration may be given to requests for other hours. Contact the Board of Selectmen: 781-784-1515

irrigation runoffWhen using water outdoors, make sure to repair leaks in irrigation systems and garden hoses. If garden hoses leak at the spigot, replace the nylon or rubber hose washer and ensure a tight connection to the spigot using pipe tape and a wrench.

Check your sprinkler system frequently and adjust sprinklers so only your lawn is watered and not the house, sidewalk, or street.

Do You Know Your Watershed?

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Neponset Watershed map

Neponset River Watershed

Did you know?  Sharon is part of the Neponset River Watershed, a 120-square mile area that drains into the Neponset River.

A watershed is the area of land that drains into a body of water, like a river, pond, harbor or lake. A watershed is sometimes referred to as a “river basin,” a “river valley,” or a “drainage basin.”

A watershed might contain a variety of landscapes, ecosystems, and man-made structures. For instance, a watershed could include forests, parking lots, mountains, wetlands, hills, streams, apartment complexes, ponds, cities, lakes, businesses, towns, landfills, state parks, etc. Everybody in each community is affected by water use and water quality throughout the watershed.

girl on log vernal poolR.Russell2003The Neponset River Watershed includes parts of 14 cities and towns: Boston (Hyde Park, Mattapan, and Dorchester), Canton, Dedham, Dover, Foxborough, Medfield, Milton, Norwood, Randolph, Quincy, Sharon, Stoughton, Walpole and Westwood.

  • Roughly 300,000 people live in the watershed.
  • The Neponset River, itself, runs for 30 miles through the middle of the watershed.
  • The River starts in Foxboro, near Gillette Stadium, and ends in Dorchester/Quincy, near the Boston Gas tank by I-93.

The Neponset has come a long way from its days as a severely polluted industrial river. Today, most streams in the Neponset River system meet swimmable standards during dry weather, and much of the river has been opened up for canoeing, bike paths and waterfront parks.

Neponset River Watershed Association

Neponset_logos_vertical_CMYKThe Neponset River Watershed Association is a grassroots, member-supported conservation group working to clean up and protect the Neponset River, its tributaries and surrounding watershed lands.  Members, volunteers and staff work in your neighborhood, every day, to stop water pollution, educate area residents, monitor river health, conserve water, open the watershed to recreation, and restore fish and wildlife habitats.

Hyde Park Clean up volunteers pulling trashMember support makes all the difference in protecting and restoring the Neponset River and its watershed, but the River needs more friends!  Consider joining the Watershed Association!

Jan. 13-17 – Sharon High School Water Conservation Poster Exhibit, Doric Hall, MA State House

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Ransom poster for webSharon High School Graphic Design Students to Exhibit Water Conservation Posters at the Massachusetts State House

Posters will be on display in Doric Hall from Jan. 13-17, with an artist’s reception on Thursday, Jan. 16 at 10am.

As part of an on-going program in the town of Sharon, MA to create awareness about water conservation, Sharon High School graphic design students were presented with information on the topic of water conservation, followed by a challenge to create informational posters for the public.  Students researched water conservation issues, chose their own headlines, and designed their posters (and original artwork) in the Art Nouveau style, using Adobe Illustrator.

The water conservation poster project was a collaborative effort between the Neponset River Watershed Association’s Water Conservation Coordinator, Nancy Fyler, and Sharon High School’s media arts teacher, Janine Roberto, and was funded by the Sharon Water Department and Sharon High School’s F.A.M.E. Program.

For more information, contact Nancy Fyler:  fyler@neponset.org

National Recognition for our Water Conservation Program!

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WSlogo_Excellence2013_colorEPA Recognizes Sharon, Mass. for Water Conservation Efforts

(Boston, Mass. – Nov. 18, 2013) – EPA recently gave nation recognition to the Town of Sharon, Mass. for the Town’s efforts to educate and inform citizens about practical ways to conserve water and thus save money.  The recognition was under EPA’s WaterSense program.

The Town of Sharon was awarded for “Excellence in Outreach and Education.” With assistance and input from the Neponset River Watershed Association, the Town launched a program to educate local citizens on the benefits of water efficiency. The program has shown results: using concentrated education and outreach tactics, water efficiency is catching on in the town.

“New Englanders have always been practical and forward-thinking when it comes to protecting our environment.  We are proud that the Town of Sharon, along with its partnership with the Neponset River Watershed Association, is taking wise steps to save water and resources,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “We all can save water and protect the environment by choosing WaterSense labeled products in our homes, yards and businesses, and by taking simple steps to save water each day.”

Starting with its youngest citizens, an in-school initiative in Sharon schools taught students about water conservation and provided take-home materials to educate parents about water efficiency in the home. High school students developed effective and informative public service announcements on the topics of water efficiency and conservation, videos for which were broadcast on the town’s local cable station. Students also designed informational posters which were hung up in municipal buildings throughout the town.  In addition, the Town of Sharon celebrated the 2012 Fix a Leak Week in style by stringing a banner across the town’s Main Street and encouraging all residents to install WaterSense labeled products and embrace water-efficient practices at home.

“The partnership forged between the Neponset River Watershed Association and the Town of Sharon Water Department has resulted in both groups doing what they do best towards providing a sustainable water supply to the residents of Sharon,” said Eric Hooper, Sharon DPW Superintendent.

The Town has seen great progress on water use reductions as a result of the outreach and education.  Sharon’s award-winning water conservation program has reduced the town’s water use by 100 million gallons per year – the equivalent of adding a new water supply well.  In 2012, Sharon’s average water use was 58 gallons per person per day, yet many households get down to under 30.  EPA estimates the national average usage at about 100 gallons per person per day.

“Water conservation is a great win-win-win strategy for our communities, our ratepayers, and our streams and rivers,” said Neponset River Watershed Association Executive Director, Ian Cooke.  “Every gallon we save, helps reduce infrastructure costs, regulatory compliance costs, and water bills, while helping to keep our streams and rivers flowing healthy for family recreation, fish and wildlife.”

More information:

The WaterSense program makes it easy to save. Just look for the label on toilets, faucets, irrigation controllers and many other products http://www.epa.gov/watersense/

Making the Energy-Water Connection!

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Shower head, blurred, canon 1Ds mark III

We turn on the bathroom lights and the shower without realizing how closely related water and energy are to each other.

October is Energy Awareness Month, which is a good time to consider how energy, water, and money are wasted every day in our homes.

Most of us know about the importance of saving energy and water, but few of us make the connection that it takes energy to pump, heat, treat, and deliver the water we use every day.

According to the EPA WaterSense Program, American public water supply and treatment facilities consume about 56 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year—enough electricity to power more than 5 million homes for an entire year.  And vast amounts of water are used to cool the power plants that generate electricity.

One of the simplest ways to save water, energy and money is to install water efficient products.  Replacing older toilets, faucets, and showerheads with WaterSense labeled appliances will save resources while ensuring product performance.

For example, just replacing a standard 2.5 gallon per minute (gpm) showerhead, with a WaterSense labeled model of 2.0 gpm or less, can save 2,900 gallons of water per year—the amount of water it takes to wash more than 70 loads of laundry.

Luckily for Sharon residents, the Water Department offers WaterSense labeled showerheads (and faucet aerators) to residents, free of charge, making it easier than ever to start conserving!  Simply visit the Department of Public Works during regular business hours:

Mon.-Wed. 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Thursday 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM
Friday 8:00 AM to 12:30 PM

In addition, the Water Department offers generous rebates for replacing older toilets and clothes washers with more water efficient models.  Toilets need to be WaterSense labeled and use 1.28 gallons per flush (gpf) or less, and clothes washers need to be Energystar rated, with a water factor of 4.5 or less.  Call the Water Department with questions: 781-784-1525 x2315

EPA promolabel_blue_look(1)All WaterSense labeled products are tested and independently certified to ensure they meet EPA’s criteria for both efficiency and performance.  Look for the WaterSense label when making your purchase.

For more information on the WaterSense Program:  www.epa.gov/watersense

Drought tolerant grass seed available at DPW

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Drought tolerant fescue grass

As summer is fading, it’s time to consider fall lawn care.  Re-seeding your lawn with drought tolerant fescue grass seed will help to conserve water by reducing the need for irrigation.  The best time to plant fescue grasses is when the daytime temperatures are between 60 & 75 degrees.

The DPW is selling a drought tolerant fescue grass seed blend for $25 per 20lb. bag, available to residents on a first come, first served basis, with a two bag maximum.

Call Evelyn at 781-784-1525 x2314 to place your order.

For more information on fescue grasses, please visit: www.fescue.com