LETTER: Why Are Town Fields & Country Club Still Being Watered?
Thu, 06/25/2020 - 5:40pm Heraldgroton
Ed Note: The following open letter was sent to the Town Water Department by a resident. The Water Department responded to the questions asked in the letter with illuminating responses.
Dear Town Water Department,
I have questions related to the town's recent restrictions on water usage for residents on town water only:
Q: If there are serious enough concerns to warrant these restrictions, then why are town fields and the country club still watering their lawns?
A: The town fields at Cow Pond are on private irrigation wells controlled by the Parks
Department, please contact them directly as the GWD and Groton Water Commission have no authority to regulate private irrigation wells. The Groton Country Club also has its own source of water for the Country Club greens. Please contact the Country Club as the GWD and the Board of Water Commissioners have no authority to regulate private irrigation wells.
Q: Have the Groton School and Lawrence Academy been asked/ required to stop watering?
A: Groton School and Lawrence Academy both have private wells and are connected to the Public Water System. They are institutions that are pre- registered with the GWD. At Lawrence Academy, the lower ball field off Route 40 has stopped irrigating with Town Water.
The Soccer Fields at LA have private irrigation wells and the GWD and the Board of Water Commissioners have no authority to regulate their use. At Groton School, the soccer fields on Rte.111/Farmers ROW was refurbished last year and has approval to irrigate as they made a large investment in restoration of the field.
At GS the rear fields all have private irrigation with the exception of the field on the circle. This field was also rehabilitated last year and is registered with the GWD.
Q: Why aren't private well users being asked, since they cannot be legally required, to limit usage?
A: Private well are under the jurisdiction of the BoH and are not regulated by the Board of Water Commissioners. The West Groton Water District is governed by the West Groton Water Commissioners.
Q: Don't we all share the same aquifers and therefore, as members of the community, are responsible for protecting the water supply?
A: Yes to a degree. The town is divided into two river basins Nashua and Merrimack. The Groton Water Departments wells are in the Merrimack and West Groton’s wells are in the Nashua. Private wells are in both. So, pumping water for irrigation purposes will potentially impact someone’s aquifer if not in Groton then in another adjacent town. However, the BOWC’S can only regulate municipal water use under Massachusetts General Laws
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