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  • Writer's pictureMichael Baird

What is a Water Resource Protection District?

You may have never run into a situation with one of your buyers purchasing a home in a Water Resource Protection District. But chances are that at some point you will.

A few years ago, towns in ye old Commonwealth of Massachusetts were given the opportunity to designate certain sections of the town as being important to the local water supply in terms of protection. Essentially towns were able to limit the amount of nitrogen loading into the ground of that area. Nitrogen loading is a product of on site septic systems (Title V), using certain rock salt on driveways or lawn treatment, etc. In Massachusetts the acceptable amount of nitrogen loading per home is 10 pic/l. Since the law passed, towns are able to limit the amount even greater, some towns allow only 5 pic/l. Typically, the Town’s Planning Board is the permit granting authority and possibly monitoring agent for this type of thing.

If a town has designated your buyer’s home to be in the WRPD, they may be limited in terms of lawn treatment or driveway treatment. As an agent, if you want to get talked about at Thanksgiving, this is something to know about. Some local WRPD bylaws state that any new development applications within the WRPD must obtain a special permit and comply with strict requirements in order to protect the town’s water supply. Take a moment to look into your buyer’s town rules and regulations to see if any special steps need to be taken on their behalf.

If you want to know anything further, it’s okay, call me.

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