By Joel Hall
With Clayton County reservoirs flowing at 99 percent capacity, the Clayton County Water Authority (CCWA) has eased several of its Level 4 drought restrictions.
The announcement comes in the wake of Gov. Sonny Perdue's declaration earlier this month that some drought restrictions could be loosened on a county-to-county basis.
Effective immediately, any residential or commercial property owner may water existing landscape, using a garden hose for 25 minutes a day, within the hours of midnight to 10 a.m., on designated days. The hose must be hand-held during watering, and equipped with a standard spray nozzle that automatically turns off when released.
In addition, swimming pools may be filled on designated days. Residents will be able to exercise the new restriction easements using the odd/even system. Odd numbered addresses may water on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, while even numbered addresses may water on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays.
"I don't think the drought is easing up, but Clayton County's reservoirs are in good shape," said Mike Thomas, CCWA general manager. "We've continued to get rain, so we think that we can afford to give our customers a little flexibility."
Thomas said before Perdue eased restrictions, only professional landscapers were allowed to water newly installed landscape. Effective March 17, residents will be able to do it themselves. As of March 17, newly installed landscaping, which has been in place less than 30 days, may be watered up to three days a week within the hours of midnight to 10 a.m., for ten consecutive weeks -- and during planting.
However, any person watering newly installed landscaping must register with the Outdoor Water Use Registration Program, at www.urbanagcouncil.com beginning March 15. The odd/even system of watering will apply.
Suzanne Brown, CCWA public information officer, warns that many of the Level 4 restrictions would remain in place.
"Customers still cannot wash their car at home," said Brown. She said motorists with cars in need of a washing must do so at a commercial car wash, until the restrictions are reduced to Level 2.
"We're in great shape as far as our water supply," said Brown. "Our customers still need to be conscious of conserving water."