Based on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Palmer Drought Severity Index, the three-month period between May 1 and July 31 was the driest for those three months in Massachusetts since 1966 and the ninth driest on record.
Due to the shortage of rainfall and continued high water demand, the Ipswich Water Department issued a Drought Emergency notice on August 22, 2016. All outside use of water is prohibited and all residents are to limit non-essential indoor water use. The Drought Emergency shall remain in effect until further notice. The Water Department is working with MassDEP on options to augment our supply. It is imperative that water demand drop to winter levels immediately to ensure the Water Department can continue to meet basic domestic and firefighting needs. Questions may be directed to the Water Department at 978-356-6635.
Dow Brook Reservoir
The Dow Brook Reservoir, August 31, 2016. Photo by Gordon Harris
The Ipswich Department of Public Utilities (DPU) Water Department serves approximately 14,000 people and 70 percent of Ipswich’s land area. The Water Department obtains its water from a mix of surface and groundwater sources located in the Egypt/Rowley and lower Ipswich watersheds, with the majority coming from the Egypt/Rowley watershed.
The largest single water source in Ipswich is the Dow and Bull Brook Reservoir system, located within the Egypt/Rowley watershed. The two reservoirs operate as a combined system, with water from the Bull Brook Reservoir being transferred to the Dow Reservoir by gravity through a 36-inch diversion pipe.
The usable storage volume of the Dow reservoir is 53.1 million gallons, and the usable storage volume of the Bull Brook reservoir is 27.4 million gallons, for a total volume of 80.5 million gallons.
The remainder of the Town’s water supply comes from six ground water sources. Two gravel packed wells, Mile Lane Well and Browns Well, are located within the Egypt/Rowley watershed. Four other groundwater sources, Winthrop Well 1, Winthrop Well 2/3, Essex Road Well, and Fellows Road Well, are located within the Ipswich River watershed. (View info source)
The Ipswich River
|Ipswich River Most Recent
Instantaneous value cf/second
Aug 31, 2016
Wayne Castonguay, director of the Ipswich River Watershed Association appeared in an interview with WCVB Channel 5.