Watering rules not likely to change quickly

Tue, 05/13/2008 - 3:35pm
By: John Munford

All reservoirs either full or near it, Fayette will ask state to loosen restrictions

Itching to wash your own car at home? Or turn on your yard’s irrigation system? Or blast the accumulated pollen off the house?

Not so fast. As of this week, such activities are still prevented by Georgia’s outdoor watering restrictions.

While Fayette County officials say they will petition the state to loosen the restrictions locally, don’t expect the decision to come overnight.

The Georgia Environmental Protection Division won’t be accepting such applications until June 3 at the earliest, and even that’s a tentative date, Water System Director Tony Parrott said Monday afternoon.

EPD has not committed as to how quickly jurisdictions can expect a decision on their application, Parrott noted.

The good news is in Fayette’s reservoirs, as Lake Kedron is back to its full level, and Lake Horton is within a foot and a half of full pool, Parrott added. Lake Peachtree, which is fed by Lake Kedron, must remain full under a contract the county has with the city of Peachtree City, Lake Peachtree’s owner, to use it as a reservoir for drinking water.

Under the current watering restrictions, the only outdoor watering allowed for landscaping is for 25 minutes every other day by a person using a watering hose with a nozzle that can shut off completely. That watering must take place between midnight and 10 a.m.

Residents are not allowed to wash their own cars, nor can they pressure-wash their own homes, but loopholes allow commercial companies who provide those services to continue.

Also, new landscaping is allowed to be watered on a more vigorous schedule if that person is certified through an online program on water conservation.

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