4 Things to Know About NK's Sprinkler Ordinance
North Kingstown's sprinkler law goes into effect in July and August.
North Kingstown has instituted a new sprinkler ordinance for the summer months to help curb water usage in town. In past years, NK's water consumers have used more water than the town's well pumps could provide – increasing the chance of water contamination and jeopardizing public safety. Without the proper water pressure and supply, the fire department's ability to fight fires could be compromised. NK's high water usage also stresses nearby waterways and wetlands.
Effective only in July and August, the new ordinance is a bit different from past years. So what's different? Why is it different? What should you know? And how can you avoid one of those unhappily hefty water bills?
How Does It Work?
Whether you have an in-ground system or a moveable sprinkler, lawn watering is now restricted to twice a week. If you're home or business is on the east side (i.e. the Narragansett Bay side) of Route 1, you may water on Mondays and Thursdays. If you're on the west side of Route 1 (Exeter side), you're watering days are on Tuesdays and Fridays. No watering is permitted during the hottest part of the day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on any day.
What Happened to the Odd-Even Restrictions in June?
Our dear friend, the odd-even system, is no more. Watering restrictions are now only in effect during July and August. Studies have found that odd-even watering restrictions across the country are largely ineffective and counterproductive. Subsequently, they are no longer enforced.
What About Vegetable and Flower Gardens?
Vegetable and flower gardens may be hand-watered with a watering can or handheld hose on any day of the week.
What If I Put in a New Lawn This Summer? Can I Water More Frequently?
The Water Department will issue short-term exemptions to the ordinance on a case-by-case basis. To receive an exemption, your lawn installation must be of a "critical emergency nature" (such as a required septic system replacement). Routine lawn and landscape upgrades will not be granted exemptions as they should be made in the off months during the spring or fall.
For more information, contact the Water Department at 401-268-1521.