County gets tough on water violators

Tue, 12/04/2007 - 3:57pm
By: John Thompson

Fayette County got even tougher on water violators this week by starting to turn off irrigation meters Monday.

The action came after a split vote at Thursday night’s County Commission meeting.

Commissioners Jack Smith, Eric Maxwell and Robert Horgan supported water system Director Tony Parrott’s idea, while Commissioners Peter Pfeifer and Herb Frady voted against it. The vote affects 260 residents in the county who have irrigation meters, said Parrott.

Residents who have the meters have opted to have another water line installed to use for irrigation and watering, so the water usage will not be reflected on their sewer bill.

Parrott said system officials have noticed activity on some of the meters and are not sure if the water use is legal. The only exceptions to the outdoor watering ban is for the installation of new landscaping and Parrott said there’s no way to tell if that’s what the water is being used for.

Before the vote numerous landscapers asked the County Commission to look for a less draconian way to cut water use.

“Everything you do has a big impact on our business,” said landscaper Brian Arnold.

But Commission Chairman Jack Smith said the county has little choice in the matter.

“We’re just trying to comply with state regulations,” he said.

Parrott added that most of the irrigation meters are in Peachtree City and Tyrone because that’s where sewer is available.

Still, some on the County Commission felt other alternatives should be examined before the meters were cut off.

“I just don’t feel convinced that this is something we need to do right now,” said Commissioner Peter Pfeifer.

Parrott said residents would be able to have their meters turned back on within a day if new landscaping was being installed at their homes.

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