SOUTHWICK — The Southwick Water Commission voted unanimously to continue the water moratorium on new connections that was imposed last August as the commission awaits an upgrade to the town’s water infrastructure.
The continuation of the moratorium comes as Public Works Director Randy Brown said that the average water usage dropped significantly in Southwick in June and July. Brown attributed the lower water usage to the higher-than-average rainfall in the area during that time.
The moratorium had previously been revised to allow for new, smaller water connections for structures like single-family homes. It still remained in effect for larger developments that would require more significant water usage.
The water main project, which was approved in the Annual Town Meeting in May, is ongoing, and could allow for larger water connections when it is finished. Brown said that he estimates the project will be finished by next spring.
Water Commission member John Cain suggested keeping the moratorium in place until they can figure out what kind of water usage capacity the town could handle if one of the major water pumps were to fail. Brown said that the upgrades to the water infrastructure would add redundancies to the system, meaning that if one part of the system were to fail, it wouldn’t have a significant impact on the rest of the water system.
Cain made a motion to keep the moratorium on new, larger water connections until they have a more precise timeline for the upgrades. The motion was passed unanimously.
The water moratorium is different from the water use restriction that was lifted last month for Southwick water customers. Non-essential water use was restricted to one day per week between 5 p.m. and 9 a.m. The day one was permitted to use water for non-essential purposes depended on one’s geographic location within Southwick, and whether the house number is even or odd.