The Town of Topsfield has a registration volume of 0.43 million gallons per day and a permit volume of 0.17 MGD. Due to the concerns about the health of the Ipswich River, the DEP added a number of special conditions to our water withdrawal permit. These conditions are aimed at reducing what is considered to be "non-essential" outdoor water use during the summer months and improve the operation of the water distribution system. The following is a list of the some of conditions and how they affect the Town.
We are required to implement outdoor water use restrictions based on Ipswich River streamflow. These restrictions are required regardless of the condition of our supply wells and are designed to reduce water use when streamflows are below critical levels. Based on historical flow data, there will be a mandatory water ban virutally every year due to this condition. Bans implemented due to this restriction are not due to lack of production capacity but to environmental concerns. At the end of each calendar year we are required to submit to DEP a list of actions taken to enforce the water restrictions including the names and addresses of the violators.
Summer Withdrawal Cap:
A limit, 0.55 MGD,was placed on how much water can be withdrawn between May 1st and September 30th each year. We have been 0.05 MGD below this limit for the past several years due to the water restctions based on streamflow. In the event that the streamflow does not drop below critical levels, it is likely that there will still be mandatory restrictions to comply with this withdrawal limit.
Annual Leak Detection:
We have voluntarily conducted leak detection surveys on an annual basis for over 5 years but are now required to do them annually. The surveys help locate leaks that have not surfaced and may go unnoticed for long periods of time. They are a good way of reducing leakage losses which saves money and allows more water for growth and/or current use.