Fayette will ask to modify water restrictions

Wed, 05/07/2008 - 3:21pm
By: The Citizen

State open to changes, but warns drought could worsen over summer

Though nearby Spalding County was one of six Georgia counties to have water restrictions eased by the state this week, Fayette can expect no such break just yet, according to state officials.

However, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division decided this week to accept petitions from local water systems to slightly loosen their watering restrictions, according to EPD spokesperson Kevin Chambers. That means Fayette can ask the state to have its watering restrictions relaxed, but there’s no guarantee any such requests will be granted.

Fayette will put together its request and present it to the county’s Board of Commissioners on Thursday, May 22 before submitting it to EPD.

Chambers said EPD Director Carol Couch wants to proceed with caution because unless Georgia gets tropical storms this summer the drought could get worse. Although many Georgia reservoirs are closer to a healthy level, a bad summer could erase that gain, Chambers suggested.

Such petitions will not be granted for water systems who use Lake Lanier, which is still recovering from its dangerously low levels experienced in recent months.

Under the current watering restrictions for Fayette County, the only outdoor watering allowed must be done by hand for no more than 25 minutes every other day for landscaping. Also it can only be done by one person at a time and that person must use a hose with a nozzle that turns completely off when it is not being held.

Odd numbered addresses can water on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday while even numbered addresses water Monday, Wednesday and Saturday, with no watering allowed on Fridays.

At-home auto washing is forbidden, though they may be washed at a car wash, and personal home pressure washing is also forbidden though companies that do such work are allowed to continue doing so.

There are other exemptions for newly-planted landscaping that allow for longer periods of watering to insure the landscape is established.

Also, officials are allowing in-ground and above-ground pools to be filled and even kiddie pools can be used to help beat the coming summer heat.

The decision to loosen the watering restrictions on Spalding and five other counties had much to do with the improving drought conditions in all six counties, EPD officials said.

login to post comments