To stem coronavirus spread, Massachusetts beach town won't turn water on at seasonal homes

Statewide stay-at-home orders have prompted more closures of beaches across the county

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Hundreds of folks looking to head to their summer homes in one Massachusetts beach town will likely find themselves without running water.

Officials in Salisbury are reportedly refusing to turn on water meters for more than 300 seasonal homes in an effort to keep residents homebound until the coronavirus pandemic subsides.

The waterfront town, usually bustling with beachgoers come summertime, voted last week to keep the water meters off at the homes of seasonal residents who have yet to return for the summer season, according to multiple reports. The move reportedly stems from the fear that a deluge of part-time residents returning at the same time may spread the disease.


Meanwhile, statewide stay-at-home orders have prompted more closures of beaches across the county. Spacing becomes an issue in popular small beach town communities where homes are clustered together. In fact, neighbors in many of those places are yanking the welcome mat — fearing infection and overwhelming of already stretched resources in sleepy shore communities.

A beach along Salisbury Beach, Massachusetts (iStock)

“We think it is a prudent policy to not allow these seasonal hookups until at least May 4 or until and unless the governor amends his emergency declaration,” Town Manager Neil Harrington said at the meeting, according to Boston TV station WCVB.

Salisbury's Board of Health, supported by the town manager, recommended the measure, which was voted on by town selectmen last week.

The service is not deemed essential, according to officials who were informed that the water company is also trying to protect its employees from contracting the highly contagious virus.


During the wintertime, water meters are taken out, but when seasonal residents return, companies will send employees out to reinstall them. However, amid the unprecedented crisis, this is no longer the case.

“I called the water company and they said we’re not installing water meters,” town selectman Chuck Takesian told the outlet.

Representatives for the town of Salisbury and the office of Gov. Charlie Baker have not immediately responded to FOX Business' requests for comment.

Beachgoers may be out of luck in other popular vacation spots as well. Newburyport, a city next to Salisbury, closed its public beach parking lot at the beginning of April. The town of Yarmouth, a coastal town in Cape Cod, announced in March that its beaches would be a part of the list of closures.