The Department of Environmental Protection convened a stakeholder meeting on Feb. 17 to resume the process of writing regulations governing the installation of interruption devices in irrigation systems.

The purpose of regulations would be “to protect, preserve and maintain the Commonwealth’s water resources … by promoting the efficient delivery of water to the landscape.” The rules would apply to all irrigation systems used on residential, commercial and industrial landscaped areas, regardless of the water source, except for irrigation systems used for golf courses, nurseries, greenhouses, or agricultural production systems.

In 2018, MassDEP convened two stakeholder meetings to initiate the regulatory process as required by state law (Ch. 21, Sec. 67), which was updated that year and directs the state to promulgate regulations for irrigation system interruption devices. The devices would be required for newly installed or renovated irrigation systems to override and suspend the programmed operation of the system during periods of sufficient moisture.

The 2018 meetings covered basic information about irrigation system interruption devices, a discussion of state and local program administration issues and resource needs, and a presentation on enforcement of the proposed regulations.

The most recent meeting was an opportunity for stakeholders to discuss the pre-rulemaking proposal for regulations being prepared by MassDEP staff.

The draft proposal can be found at

The MMA is taking part in the process as an appointed representative for cities and towns. Comments or questions can be directed to

After considering stakeholders’ comments, the MassDEP intends to initiate the rulemaking process in accordance with state law.

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