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Dry weather prompts odd-even water ban in Portsmouth

Impacts customers of Portsmouth Water and Fire District only


PORTSMOUTH — The recent rains weren’t enough, apparently.

In response to continuing dry weather conditions and high water demand, the Portsmouth Water and Fire District is implementing a mandatory odd-even water ban effective immediately. 

This mandatory odd-even water ban is in effect for District customers only and does not affect any Portsmouth residents who receive their water from Newport Water, the Navy or Prudence Island.

District customers with odd-numbered addresses are required to confine their outdoor water use to only odd-numbered days of the month.  Customers with even-numbered addresses are required to confine their outdoor water use to even-numbered days.  

The odd-even water ban includes all outside water uses including irrigation systems, filling swimming pools and garden hose use for any purpose.

The mandatory ban applies to all residential, commercial and industrial District customers. Customers with automatic lawn sprinklers are advised to adjust their systems accordingly to comply with the mandatory requirements. The District has separate water conservation arrangements with commercial agricultural water customers.

Penalties for violations

A violation of the mandatory ban will result in a written reminder and warning to the water customer. A subsequent violation will result in a fine of $100. A third violation will result in water service being terminated for a 24-hour period with associated service charges totaling $160.

Philip Driscoll, administrative board chairman, said the mandatory water ban is necessary due to the continuing lack of rainfall and to reduce the District’s peak water system demand resulting from the dry weather. Mr. Driscoll stressed the purpose of the mandatory odd-even water ban is to allow reasonable outside use and to avoid the necessity of a complete ban on outside water use if demand is allowed to rise unchecked.

Jessica Lynch, the District’s general manager and chief engineer, said the District’s water demand is at peak levels and, if unchecked, could exceed the District’s pumping capacity and potentially impair water storage for fire protection. 

Customers with questions on the mandatory odd-even water ban, or for other water conservation tips, may contact the District’s office at 683-2090.

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