Attleboro Officials Encourage Residents To 'Snitch' On Water Ban Violators

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ATTLEBORO, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — With a drought wracking Massachusetts, Attleboro city officials are handing out citations to residents disobeying water restrictions implemented on Saturday.

The Mayor of Attleboro Paul Heroux told WBZ's Kim Tunnicliffe that the rules apply to everyone, urging residents to 'snitch' on their neighbors if they aren't in compliance with the city's ban on all non-essential watering.

"We're all in this together. What people don't understand is how are we supposed to enforce the ban if we don't know that there's somebody violating it? If one neighbor sees somebody else doing something wrong, see someone say something— you have to," Heroux said.

According to Attleboro's Water Department, the mandatory water ban prohibits lawn watering of any kind, car washes, pool fillings, and sprinklers. Exceptions to the rule come in the form of 'essential watering,' like hand watering of vegetable gardens, watering of livestock, essential business use, and well water use.

Violators of the water ban are at risk of receiving a $25 fine for the first offense, $50 for the second, and then $200 for each additional offense following. Officials say the restrictions are in place until further notice, and that it's an Operational and Conservational measure.

According to the Massachusetts Drought Management Task Force, Attleboro's 'Critical Level,' or Level Three drought calls for an inter-agency Mission Group to coordinate on assessments and impacts within the government.

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Heroux says the effects of the drought have been visible in North Attleboro too, with the local Hoppin Hill well below its normal water levels.

"Normally it's about 23 feet deep and hold 200 million gallons, but right now it's three feet deep and it only has 20 million gallons," Heroux said.

The Attleboro Police Department says they have given out about one hundred citations and fines related to the water restriction so far.

WBZ's Kim Tunnicliffe (@KimWBZ) reports.

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