Current Water Conservation Regulations

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Update for Summer 2023


Although the Town joined the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) in December 2020, the current connection to the Town of Lexington’s water system is not large enough to allow for the elimination of all outdoor watering restrictions in the near future.  We anticipate phase 2A of our MWRA connection to be completed by late spring 2023. Once completed, the Town will be able to take up to 3.5 million gallons per day (MGD) of water from the MWRA. 

Though we will have a second source of water, Burlington still must enforce water conservation regulations.  

Based on Burlington’s current water supply conditions, we in the DPW propose the Town of Burlington terminates the full mandatory outdoor watering restriction approved on 6/27/2022 and returns to the year-round outdoor watering restriction ( 1st Step mandatory outdoor watering restriction ) effective April 1, 2023 as outlined below: 

1st Step: Automated or sprinkler watering allowed every other day based on the address of the residential or commercial property (even numbered on even days, odd numbered on odd days). Residents and commercial properties can choose to water either between midnight and 9 a.m. or between 5 p.m. and midnight on their odd/even day. No double watering allowed on any given day. 

These water conservation measures would apply to all residential and commercial properties.  Under these restrictions no watering will be allowed between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. 

Outdoor watering restrictions consist of:

  • Irrigation of lawns via sprinklers or automatic irrigation systems

The following uses are permitted on any day at any time:

  • Watering of gardens, flowers, and ornamental plantings by means of a hand-held hose only. 
  • To meet core functions of a business or commercial activity
  • Applying necessary surface treatments (aka washing exterior surfaces) such as paint, preservatives, stucco, pavement, or cement.
  • Car washing and filling of pools during 1st and 2nd steps only  


According to the Town Bylaws Section 5.4 the Town, through its Select Board, may declare a State of Water Conservation.   Section 5.9 states the Penalties for violating the Water Restriction are:

  • Any person violating shall be issued a warning for the first violation, shall be liable to the Town in the amount of $50 for the second violation, and $100 for each subsequent violation thereafter.  These fines are non-criminal disposition. 

New Lawn Exemptions:

In accordance with past years, the DPW will allow automated or sprinkler water exemptions in the months of April, May, September, and October. These exemptions are given by written permission of the DPW via an online form on the Town’s website, located here. Within this exemption, residents and commercial properties can water their lawns every day, but need to adhere to the rule of “no watering will be allowed between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.”