No watering in Fayette ... for now

Wed, 02/13/2008 - 10:10am
By: The Citizen

County says not enough water available for landscaping; will be reevaluated for summer months

Fayette County is not changing its watering restrictions for now, meaning there will be no "hand watering" of plants nor any watering of newly-installed landscaping, whether done by a professional or by the homeowner.

The matter of filling pools will be addressed at a later date, said Fayette County Water System Director Tony Parrott.

The county is projecting to have a daily wiggle room of just 130,000 gallons this month and next before it crosses the threshold of violating the 10 percent water use reduction required by Gov. Sonny Perdue. Because the baseline is set compared to the county's water usage 12 months ago, the "wiggle room" will increase during the summer months so it's possible some watering may be allowed during the summer, Parrott said.

Interim County Manager Jack Krakeel said the state climatologist is projecting the drought will continue. He also noted that the upcoming spring months are when the county typically depends on rains to replenish the reservoirs.

Perdue announced last week that despite the ongoing drought residents would be allowed to water by hand using a garden hose with a spray nozzle that closes for up to 45 minutes every other day between midnight and 10 a.m. Also the state will allow newly-installed landscaping to be watered during the same hours for up to 10 weeks on an odd-even schedule, so long as the person or entity doing the watering takes an online course on water conservation and landscape watering.

But none of that will not be the case in Fayette, at least for now. Water officials said Wednesday morning that they could evaluate the restrictions in several weeks.

"We've been proud of our customers and we've met the 10 percent each month," said Water System Director Tony Parrott.

The county has an estimated 250-day supply of water on hand right now, and although Lake Kedron has picked up some volume with recent rains, Lake Horton is at 50 percent of its normal level. Lake Kedron is up to being 78 percent full but Lake Horton is down 7.5 feet, more than twice as low than it was last year at this time.

Parrott told the county's water committee that he didn't think pool filling and hand-watering of landscaping would be much of a drain during the summer months, particularly since most residents will merely be topping off their pools.

Parrott said he was concerned about the possibility of allowing watering for new landscaping, which could feasibly include sod or even overseeding of lawns.

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rzz's picture
Submitted by rzz on Thu, 02/14/2008 - 1:38am.

There goes Pikes. Time to buy me some rain barrels I reckon.

Submitted by Got a life but ... on Wed, 02/13/2008 - 5:34pm.

People need to realize that the outdoor watering ban is not about water conservation. It is all about giving the perception that your government is doing something about a problem and therefore it must be right because the government is doing it that way.

As any issue, if you look into the details you will find out some very interesting facts. The facts in this case do not support the actions that have been taken by either the Governor or Fayette County.

Don't just take someone's word (especially the press and your government leaders or agencies)for fact. Water is a problem excaberated by the drought, but caused by inept management of water systems across the state. Outdoor water bans imply an action is being taken to resolve the problem, when in fact the problem is much deeper than the simple act of outdoor water bans will repair.

One day we will all reckon with the result if we as citizens do not hold our leaders accountable for their actions, or in this case, the action of trying to appear as though they are doing something. Meanwhile our qulaity of life, our lifestyles and our economy is negatiely impacted by the whimsical actions of politics and based on perception instead of scientific response actions to problems that need to be addressed for the good of the community as a whole.

Submitted by skyspy on Wed, 02/13/2008 - 5:19pm.

You had better deal with it now. If swimming pools are a necessity so are my plants.

If we have enough water to keep building cluster homes we have enough for my existing yard.

Don't just discriminate against the landscaping buisness. If they have to suffer so should people in the building/development industry, and swimming pool buisness should all share the burden equally. If we don't have enough water for the people who are already here, then you better put an emergency building moratorium in place.

Make up your minds, either we have enough water or we don't?. If we don't then we don't need people topping off their pools to the tune of and extra 1,000 gallons every couple of days. We don't need to build cluster homes if we don't have enough water for the people that are already here. We don't need to water golf courses either.

So which is it? Do we have enough water for the people already here? If not, then we ALL need to share the burden equally.

BPR's picture
Submitted by BPR on Wed, 02/13/2008 - 6:57pm.

You have some great points- have you seen the lakes. I'd say not enough water hardly for the people who live here. If they fill the swimming pools etc. we should have enough for our plants and yard. Do you think they think about these things before they are done? I say share the burden equally- do you think they will do it?SmilingLaughing out loud

"Hope Changes Everything"

Submitted by FayetteNet on Wed, 02/13/2008 - 3:43pm.

A little visual perspective on the level data for Lake Horton, taken this past weekend:

Lake Horton

Submitted by bssmstr1 on Wed, 02/13/2008 - 12:10pm.

Yes, Thanks Fayette, for further hardships on the countys Nursery and Landscape businesses. Gov. Perdue is trying to relieve some of these hardships and all you can do is say "he doesnt have enough sense to watch our water supply"? You are sadly misinformed! How will the business get through spring???? I am in the Nursery industry and by the mercy of the good Lord still have a job....barely. I have watched as businesses across the county lay people off....or CLOSE. Get with the program....without some sort of relief of the water restrictions the upcoming spring will be devastating to the green industry!!!!!!!!!!!

Submitted by Spyglass on Wed, 02/13/2008 - 1:08pm.

But it's OK to have a car wash's open and to approve more homes to be built. We obviously have enough water for that.

Fayette is being shortsighted, in humble opinion. It's not like the Gov has ended all water restrictions. Hand watering only? Just how bad is the situation in Fayette Co if we can't allow this? Like I said below, it must not be that bad, or they wouldn't still be selling water meters for new construction.

Submitted by bssmstr1 on Wed, 02/13/2008 - 1:43pm.

Awsome spyglass

secret squirrel's picture
Submitted by secret squirrel on Wed, 02/13/2008 - 1:04pm.

I feel badly for your situation; who among us wouldn't? But don't lose sight of the fact that you chose a job in an industry whose very existence is beholden solely to the whims of nature. This region did not chose to have a drought. But its here and as a result, we are faced with a gross shortage of an essential commodity. That means prioritizing what water may be used for and with all due respect, watering landscaping falls pretty far down my list- and I have a lot of it and have lost a lot of it. But it's a no-brainer.

There is nothing misinformed about criticizing Purdue's obvious vote-pandering and ignorance of the worsening drought. This isn't getting better and any movement towards decreasing restrictions, regardless of the reason, is absurd. Again, it's sad that you and your colleagues are faced with this dilemma, especially at this time when the economy is flattening. But we all make our choices and have to live with them. The one choice we cannot make is needing water for life. And the more we fail to plan and address this strongly, the longer it will take to recover.

Submitted by sageadvice on Wed, 02/13/2008 - 12:39pm.

I regret that your job is in jeopardy. So are many other jobs in this precarious time for reasons other than water. Autos, homes, etc.

However some of us using water that hasn't fallen frim the sky yet (lately) to keep a job isn't the question.
Will we be out of water generally next spring? Nobody is sure! That would close down nearly everything!

Also, if that should occur, we would be required to share our Fayette lakes with others until it was gone.
You must know that?
People also hate others who have or use water, when they have none! Could be a real problem.

Submitted by Spyglass on Wed, 02/13/2008 - 11:13am.

They have a building moratorium in place.

Submitted by sageadvice on Wed, 02/13/2008 - 3:27pm.

Your attitude is what causes people not to participate in doing what is right, WITHOUT a law to say, do it!

Perdue is wrong to loosen water restrictions on some industry and not all. He knows it but he got an enormous flash back from thousands of people in the business of grass, trees, flowers, etc.

He does not know whether we will need that water to drink next spring!!!

Many people could not qualify for an award for "Profiles In Courage" when times get tough!

There are some industries in Georgia using ten times the water that yards use, but they aren't going to be touched legally since lay-offs would ensue.

A politician can only make hard decisions when we have NO WATER left!

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