Massachusetts Irrigation Program

Smarter watering starts with you

People across the country are putting water high on the list of things to use more efficiently, especially given the large fluctuations in the amount of rain and snow we receive. In addition, of course, to the finite nature of the water supply and the essential role it plays in human, economic and environmental well-being. 

In the communities shown below, residents are saving millions of gallons of water each year by following a mandatory schedule for sprinkler irrigation.

Manual watering is allowed at any time. Customers may qualify for a variation of the schedule for new lawns or plantings during the months of May and September.

Even/Odd Sprinkler Irrigation Schedule

For Sheffield customers

(The state has declared a Level 1 - Mild Drought in the Western Region)

All non-essential uses of outdoor water are restricted to no more than one day per week, before 9 a.m. and after 5 p.m., except watering ornamental plants and flower gardens with drip irrigation, hand hoses or watering cans may be permitted. Follow the schedule below and see the FAQs for a detailed description of permitted outdoor water uses.

Last digit of your address numberNon-essential outdoor water use is allowed only at the following times:
0, 2, 4, 6 or 8 (even numbers)

Sunday
12:01 a.m. - 9:00 a.m., or
5:00 pm - Midnight

1, 3, 5, 7 or 9 (odd numbers)

Saturday
12:01 a.m. - 9:00 a.m., or
5:00 pm - Midnight

No address number

Sunday
12:01 a.m. -9:00 a.m., or
5:00 pm - Midnight


For Millbury Customers

(Effective May 1 through September 30, unless drought is declared)

Last digit of your address numberNon-essential outdoor water use is allowed only at the following times:
0, 2, 4, 6 or 8 (even numbers)

Even days
12:01 a.m. - 9:00 a.m., or
5:00 pm - Midnight

1, 3, 5, 7 or 9 (odd numbers)

Odd days
12:01 a.m. - 9:00 a.m., or
5:00 pm - Midnight

No address number

Even days
12:01 a.m. -9:00 a.m., or
5:00 pm - Midnight


For Dover (Dover/Springdale Farm Systems) and Ponds of Plymouth Customers

(Effective May 1 through September 30, unless drought is declared)

Last digit of your address Non-essential outdoor water use is allowed only at the following times:
0, 2, 4, 6 or 8 (even numbers)

Sunday & Wednesday
12:01 a.m. - 9:00 a.m., or
5:00 pm - Midnight

1, 3, 5, 7 or 9 (odd numbers)

Saturday & Tuesday
12:01 a.m. - 9:00 a.m., or
5:00 pm - Midnight

No address number

Sunday & Wednesday
12:01 a.m. -9:00 a.m., or
5:00 pm - Midnight


For Pinehills Customers

(Effective May 1 through September 30, unless drought is declared)
Applies to all Pinehills customers

Last digit of your address Non-essential outdoor water use is allowed only at the following times:
0, 2, 4, 6 or 8 (even numbers)

Sunday & Wednesday
12:01 a.m. - 7:00 a.m., or
7:00 pm - Midnight

1, 3, 5, 7 or 9 (odd numbers)

Saturday & Tuesday
12:01 a.m. - 7:00 a.m., or
7:00 pm - Midnight

No address number

Sunday & Wednesday
12:01 a.m. -7:00 a.m., or
7:00 pm - Midnight


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • irrigation of lawns via sprinklers or automatic irrigation systems;
  • washing of vehicles, except in a commercial car wash or as necessary for operator safety; and
  • washing of exterior building surfaces, parking lots, driveways or sidewalks, except as necessary to apply surface treatments such as paint, preservatives, stucco, pavement, or cement.

Water uses NOT subject to mandatory restrictions include essential watering activities:                  

  1. for health or safety reasons, including public facilities used for cooling such as splash pads and swimming pools, and for washing of boats, engines, or marine equipment to prevent negative saltwater impacts or the transfer of invasive aquatic species;
  2. by permit, license, statute or regulation;
  3. for the production of food, including vegetable gardens, and fiber;
  4. for the maintenance of livestock;
  5. to meet the core functions (those functions essential to the commercial operations) of a business, including but not limited to:
    1. plant nurseries as necessary to maintain stock;
    2. golf courses as necessary to maintain greens and tees, and limited fairway watering per 310 CMR 36.07(2)(c)2.a. through c.;
    3. venues used for weddings or similar special events that limit watering to hand-held hose or drip irrigation as necessary to maintain gardens, flowers and ornamental plants;
    4. professional washing of exterior building surfaces, parking lots, driveways and/or sidewalks as necessary to apply surface treatments such as paint, preservatives, stucco, pavement, or cement in the course of construction, reconstruction or renovation work;
  6. for irrigation of public parks before 9:00 a.m. and after 5:00 p.m.,
  7. for irrigation of public and private recreation fields, including those operated by schools, colleges, universities, and athletic associations, before 9:00 a.m. and after 5:00 p.m.,
  8. for irrigation of publicly-funded shade trees and trees in the public right-of-way; or
  9. to establish a new lawn as necessary to stabilize soil in response to new construction or following the repair or replacement of a Title 5 system.
  • irrigation to establish a new lawn and new plantings during the months of May and September;
  • irrigation of public parks and recreational fields by means of automatic sprinklers outside the hours
  • of 9 am to 5 pm; and                     
  • irrigation of lawns, gardens, flowers and ornamental plants by means of a hand-held hose.
  • other water uses NOT subject to mandatory restrictions include essential watering activities:
    • for health or safety reasons;
    • by regulation;   
    • for the maintenance of livestock; or
    • to meet the core functions of a business (for example, irrigation by golf courses as necessary to
    • maintain tees, greens, and limited fairway watering, or irrigation by plant nurseries as necessary to
    • maintain stock).

Through the Water Management Act, MassDEP regulates the amount of water that all water suppliers in Massachusetts can withdraw from the environment from its sources (e.g. wells). The irrigation schedule will help ensure that our water systems are in compliance with the WMA permit limits and requirements.

Visit http://www.nsrwa.org/watersmart/greenscapes/ for tips on lawn and garden care. According to Greenscapes:

  • Grass grows the deepest and healthiest roots with infrequent watering.
  • Watering two days a week is more than adequate to have a beautiful lawn. In fact, research has shown that grass thrives with about an inch of rain a week - some supplied by Mother Nature and the rest by just one watering.

You can also visit our Lawn and Garden Irrigation Tips page.

No. The restrictions do not apply to irrigation systems that are supplied with water from a private well. However, local ordinances/bylaws might apply. Please check with local officials.
The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) regulates and closely monitors the quantity of water that water utilities withdraw from the environment.

Tips for watering your lawn and garden

Landscapes can thrive with water twice a week or even less.

Learn More

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