What You Can Do Now About Water

Signs of Drought at Hopkinton Reservoir
Hopkinton Reservoir

Water conservation and community action can help protect Hopkinton’s water supply amidst ongoing drought.

At Home: 

  • Be a good neighbor. Obey all town water bans whether you are a private well owner or on municipal water.
  • Conserve water (see tips inside brochure).
  • Test your well water regularly. For more information, visit Hopkinton Board of Health at: http://www.hopkintonma.gov/home/government/boards/boh

In Your Neighborhood: 

  • Spread the word. Talk to your neighbors and friends about conserving water.
  • Report repeated water ban violations to the DPW, 66 Fruit St., 508.497.9765, Eric Carty, Water/Sewer Superintendent ericc@hopkintonma.gov.
  • Find and share information posted on eHop’s website: www.ehop01748.org/tag/ehop-spotlight/
  • Follow @ehop01748 on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Hopkinton DPW Water Conservation Tips:

Around Town: 

  • Help shape town water policies. Reach out to key leaders and participate in board/committee meetings.
  • If you want to change the water ban penalties, petition a warrant for Town Meeting using the Guide for Citizen Petitioners found on the town website.
  • Provide input into Hopkinton’s Master Plan. The Master Plan is a blueprint for physical growth and future development. It includes goals and recommendations for Land Use, Natural and Cultural Resources, Housing and Economic Development, Community Facilities and Services and Transportation.
    • Master Plan public hearing on November 21 at 7:35 PM at Town Hall 
    • Email feedback to the Dept of Land Use, Planning & Permitting, contact: Elaine Lazarus, Director of Land Use and Town Operations, elainel@hopkintonma.gov, 508.497.9700.
    • The Master Plan draft is posted on the Planning Board page.

Ways to Conserve Water


  • When lawn watering is allowed, water early in the morning before sunrise when temps and wind are down. Don’t water between 9 – 5 pm. Water once every 5 – 7 days – that’s all that a lawn needs.
  • Turn auto-sprinklers to off setting and manually control them. They should not be set to auto. Check positioning and operation of all sprinkler heads (so they’re not watering pavement). Make sure heads aren’t leaking.
  • Install a rain sensor device on auto-sprinklers that will adjust the irrigation cycle on the sprinklers when adequate rainfall happens.
  • Raise lawn mower blade to at least 3 inches. Longer grass holds moisture and shades the soil.
  • Use a kitchen timer to remind yourself to turn off sprinklers.
  • Choose native plants or plants that need less water. Minimize areas of grass.
  • Group plantings according to water needs to maximize efficiency of irrigation. Use mulch to reduce evaporation.
  • A hose left running wastes 6 gallons per minute.
  • Collect water in trash barrel from downspout under your gutters. Then take watering can to dip in and water your plants.
  • Turn off and drain the water supply to your outside faucets during the winter so that they don’t freeze and split.


  • Only use dishwasher and washing machine with full loads.
  • Take shorter showers, 5 min or less.
  • Fix leaking faucets, pipes, and toilets: The average US family can save 10,000 gallons of water a year by fixing leaks. Dripping faucets can waste 20 gallons per day.
  • Turn off the faucet when brushing your teeth and save 200 gallons of water a month.
  • A leaking toilet can waste 200 gallons per day. Check your toilet. Toilets are the number one culprit for water loss in the home and waste an incredible amount of water. Check for leaks by putting food coloring in the tank and waiting a half hour. If the water changes color in the bowl, you have a leak.
  • Avoid using your toilet as a waste basket. Every flush takes 2 – 7 gallons of water.
  • Put a brick in your toilet tank to save a gallon of water per flush.
  • If you have an older 6 gallon per flush toilet, think about replacing it with the new efficient 1.6 gallons per flush toilet.
  • Buy front loading washing machines and save over 40% in water consumption.
  • Create a kitchen compost bin as an alternative to using the garbage disposal.
  • Collect and reuse clean household water (water running while you wait for the shower to get hot, leftover water from cleaning veggies, etc).
  • Every time you rinse a milk jug, don’t pour it down the drain, use it to water potted plants. Water with a little milk makes great fertilizer.
  • Tips for Saving Water from DCR

Who Can Help?

Ask Questions.

Get Involved.

Overseeing our water-related concerns takes a team effort. Use the grid below as a starting point for contact info, depending on your area of interest. For specific contact emails/phone numbers, please check the town or school department websites.



Commercial Use:

Emergency Management:

Residential Water Use (Public):

Residential Water Use (Private):

Early Voting Continues Until Nov. 4 or Vote at the Polls on Nov. 8

Early Voting in Town Hall Basement

Early voting can be done in person or by mail by any registered voter. In Hopkinton, early voting can be done in person at Hopkinton Town Hall, 18 Main Street until Friday, November 4  during usual business hours which are Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM, Tuesdays from 8:00 AM – 7:00 PM, and Fridays from 8:00 AM – 2:00 PM.  Read more…

Or vote at the polls on Election Day, Tuesday, November 8. All Hopkinton precincts vote at the Hopkinton Middle School Brown Gym, 88 Hayden Rowe St, Hopkinton, enter by Grove Street. Polls are open 6:30am-8:00pm. There is no school on Tuesday, November 8 due to a Teacher Professional Day timed as usual to coincide with election day. This reduces parking & traffic congestion and increases student safety on this busy day. There are four statewide ballot questions this year, in addition to the state and presidential election. Read what’s on the ballot here. Continue reading Early Voting Continues Until Nov. 4 or Vote at the Polls on Nov. 8

Follow eHop on LinkedIn

Follow eHop on LinkedIn

eHop relies heavily on Facebook and Twitter for posting various news articles when we don’t have time to write something up in more detail for our website, especially during the summer months. Recognizing that not everyone is on Facebook or Twitter, we recently set-up a LinkedIn organization page. So if you are not on other social media, we encourage you to follow us on LinkedIn, where we plan to share similar information to what we currently share on Twitter.

Follow Us on LinkedIn

As Some Private Wells Run Dry, eHop Holds Public Forum On Water 10/28

Hopkinton ground water levels are down 4.5’* and residents are feeling the impact. 

Amidst continuing extreme drought conditions, eHop has announced that it will hold a public forum titled, eHop’s Spotlight on Water, on Friday, October 28 at 9:45 am – 11 :00 am at Bittersweet, 28 Main Street, Hopkinton.  Hopkinton is 20” below normal levels of precipitation and the town’s dense bedrock is hindering the underground flow of limited water.  As a result, some private wells are running dry and the town is readying its backup wells.  The drought has many people asking how private and public water sources are connected, how water use should be prioritized, and what emergency plans are in place.  eHop’s Spotlight on Water will address these questions.

“New England has always been thought of as water rich.  I think that attitude has to change.  We are at a point now where this is a community situation, whether it’s town water or well water, it’s going to take everybody’s part in order for us to get through this and make it out to the other side.” – Eric Carty, Water/Sewer Superintendent of Hopkinton.   John Westerling, Hopkinton’s Director of Public Works, and Ed Wirtanen, Hopkinton’s Board of Health Director, will be featured panelists at the forum.  “Water concerns everyone in town:  residents, businesses, schools, emergency response and more.  Our goal is to educate residents about the water supply in Hopkinton, engage them in a dialogue about water conservation, and empower them to take action.” – Amanda Fargiano, eHop Board Member.

eHop is a Hopkinton based 501(c)(4) non-profit whose mission is to provide timely and factual information about key town matters with the goal of increasing government transparency and fostering civic engagement.

* As of 9/20/16 Hopkinton ground water levels are down 4.5’

Drought of 2016

Some recent news articles about the drought:

Signs of Drought at Ice House Pond - October 2016
Ice House Pond

Drought conditions ease slightly
By Rob Haneisen, Metrowest Daily News, 10-13-16

Extreme drought unchanged in Massachusetts
By Rob Haneisen, Metrowest Daily News, 10-6-16

Hopkinton selectmen hear briefing on drought
By Jonathan Phelps, Metrowest Daily News, 9-23-16

Tips from Angel’s: Dealing with Drought Conditions
By Tom Nappi, HCAM News Director, 9-22-16

Private wells, water companies hit amid extreme drought
By Brad Avery, Metrowest Daily News, 9-18-16

Signs of Drought at Hopkinton State Park Main Swimming Beach
Hopkinton State Park Main Beach

Crops wilting, businesses suffer from prolonged drought
By Brad Avery, Metrowest Daily News, 8-12-16

Hopkinton bans lawn watering because of drought
By Jonathan Phelps, Metrowest Daily News, 8-1-16

Hopkinton residents asked to adhere to water restrictions
By Jonathan Phelps, Metrowest Daily News, 7-26-16

Stage 1 water ban declared in Ashland
By Bill Shaner, Metrowest Daily News, 7-25-16

Mandatory Water Ban - No Outdoor Use
Water Ban Sign on the Common

Pubic Notice: Water Use Restrictions
HCAM News, 6-20-16

Water use restrictions in Hopkinton
By Jonathan Phelps, Metrowest Daily News, 6-20-16

Local towns win water system awards – Hopkinton Country Club was a winner in the “Non Transient Non Community” category.
By Brad Avery, Metrowest Daily News, 5-3-16

State & Presidential Election – Tues. Nov. 8 – Early voting begins 10/24

November 8, 2016 Election Word Cloud

There is no school on Tuesday, November 8 due to a Teacher Professional Day timed as usual to coincide with election day. Because the polls are located at the Middle School, this reduces parking & traffic congestion and increases student safety on this busy day. There are four statewide ballot questions this year, in addition to the state and presidential election.

New this year! Early Voting Oct. 24 – Nov. 4

Early voting can be done in person or by mail by any registered voter. In Hopkinton, early voting can be done in person at Hopkinton Town Hall, 18 Main Street from Monday, October 24 until Friday, November 4. It will be held during our usual business hours which are Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM, Tuesdays from 8:00 AM – 7:00 PM, and Fridays from 8:00 AM – 2:00 PM. For public convenience, the Hopkinton Town Clerk has decided to offer weekend hours on Saturday, October 29th from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM. Read more…

New to town, recently moved or not registered to vote?

On the November 8 Ballot for Hopkinton residents:

QUESTION 1: Expanded Slot Machine Gaming

This proposed law would allow the state Gaming Commission to issue one additional category 2 license, which would permit operation of a gaming establishment with no table games and not more than 1,250 slot machines. Read more…

  • A YES VOTE would permit the state Gaming Commission to license one additional slot-machine gaming establishment at a location that meets certain conditions specified in the law. http://massachusettsquestion1.com
  • A NO VOTE would make no change in current laws regarding gaming. http://macasinos.net

QUESTION 2: Charter School Expansion

This proposed law would allow the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to approve up to 12 new charter schools or enrollment expansions in existing charter schools each year. Approvals under this law could expand statewide charter school enrollment by up to 1% of the total statewide public school enrollment each year. New charters and enrollment expansions approved under this law would be exempt from existing limits on the number of charter schools, the number of students enrolled in them, and the amount of local school districts’ spending allocated to them. Read more…

  • A YES VOTE would allow for up to 12 approvals each year of either new charter schools or expanded enrollments in existing charter schools, but not to exceed 1% of the statewide public school enrollment. http://greatschoolsma.org
  • A NO VOTE would make no change in current laws relative to charter schools. https://saveourpublicschoolsma.com

QUESTION 3: Conditions for Farm Animals

This proposed law would prohibit any farm owner or operator from knowingly confining any breeding pig, calf raised for veal, or egg-laying hen in a way that prevents the animal from lying down, standing up, fully extending its limbs, or turning around freely. The proposed law would also prohibit any business owner or operator in Massachusetts from selling whole eggs intended for human consumption or any uncooked cut of veal or pork if the business owner or operator knows or should know that the hen, breeding pig, or veal calf that produced these products was confined in a manner prohibited by the proposed law. The proposed law would exempt sales of food products that combine veal or pork with other products, including soups, sandwiches, pizzas, hotdogs, or similar processed or prepared food items. Read more…

  • A YES VOTE would prohibit any confinement of pigs, calves, and hens that prevents them from lying down, standing up, fully extending their limbs, or turning around freely. http://www.citizensforfarmanimals.com
  • A NO VOTE would make no change in current laws relative to the keeping of farm animals. http://newenglandbrownegg.com

QUESTION 4: Legalization, Regulation, and Taxation of Marijuana

The proposed law would permit the possession, use, distribution, and cultivation of marijuana in limited amounts by persons age 21 and older and would remove criminal penalties for such activities. It would provide for the regulation of commerce in marijuana, marijuana accessories, and marijuana products and for the taxation of proceeds from sales of these items. Read more…

  • A YES VOTE would allow persons 21 and older to possess, use, and transfer marijuana and products containing marijuana concentrate (including edible products) and to cultivate marijuana, all in limited amounts, and would provide for the regulation and taxation of commercial sale of marijuana and marijuana products. https://www.regulatemassachusetts.org
  • A NO VOTE would make no change in current laws relative to marijuana. http://www.safeandhealthyma.com


  • CLINTON and KAINE, Democratic
  • JOHNSON and WELD, Libertarian
  • STEIN and BARAKA, Green-Rainbow
  • TRUMP and PENCE, Republican


  • JOSEPH P. KENNEDY, III, 12 Gibbs St., Brookline, Democratic
  • DAVID A. ROSA, 323 Lincoln Ave., Dighton, Republican


  • ROBERT L. JUBINVILLE, 487 Adams St., Milton, Democratic
  • BRAD WILLIAMS, 29 Furbush Rd., Boston, Republican


  • KAREN E. SPILKA, 18 Rome Way, Ashland, Democratic


  • CAROLYN C. DYKEMA, 429 Marshall St., Holliston, Democratic


  • PETER J. KOUTOUJIAN, 33 Harris St., Waltham, Democratic


Charter Review Committee Targets February Special Town Meeting

Hopkinton MA 1880 Map

At least once every ten (10) years, in each year ending in a six (6), the Town Clerk shall establish a special committee for the purpose of reviewing this Charter and to make a report, with recommendations, to the Town Meeting concerning any proposed amendments which said committee may determine to be necessary or desirable.

The Charter Review Commission held a forum on September 19 to gather public input. You can watch the video on HCAM’s YouTube Channel. At their December 7, 2016 Public Forum, the Charter Review Commission intends to present a “near final” charter with their proposed changes, providing background and support for any proposed changes as well as another opportunity to answer questions from the residents. They have requested that the Board of Selectmen hold a Special Town Meeting on February 13, 2017, allowing requisite time for the Attorney General to review the revised charter and placement on the ballot for the May 15, 2017 annual town election.

If you could not attend the September forum, you may feel free to attend any of the upcoming Charter Review Committee meetings and speak during the public comment period, or contact the committee chair Pam Waxlax at pwaxlax@hopkintonma.gov. The next meetings are scheduled for October 12, October 26, November 9 and November 21.

Charter Review Committee Documents on Google Drive

A video of the Public Forum that was held on HCAM on 9/19/2016

Charter Review Committee Members:

  • Pam Waxlax (Chair), appointed by the Town Moderator
  • Michelle Murdock (Vice-Chair) appointed by the Appropriation Committee
  • Richard Flannery (Secretary), appointed by the Town Moderator
  • Curt Cooprider, appointed by the Town Clerk
  • Elizabeth Herlihy, appointed by the Appropriation Committee
  • Jean Bertschmann, appointed by the School Committee
  • Todd Cestari, appointed by the Selectmen
  • Committee Website

Read the Town Charter:

Open the Charter Document in a new window