May 1st marks the beginning of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection's summer regulatory period. Our water withdrawal permit requires us to implement outdoor water use restrictions when Ipswich River stream flow falls below certain levels from May 1st through September 30th. The permit also restricts the amount of water we can pump during this period to an average of 0.55 million gallons per day.
Stream flow is measured at the United States Geological Survey's gauge station located just downstream of the dam near Foote Brothers Canoe Rental in Ipswich.
A voluntary outdoor water use restriction is required if the average daily stream flow at the Ipswich Gauge drops below 70 cubic feet per second for three consecutive days. If the average daily stream flow continues to drop and falls below 52.5 cubic feet per second for three consecutive days then a mandatory restriction is required. The restrictions stay in effect until stream flow recovers and is above the trigger point for at least 10 consecutive days.