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State relaxes Clayton water restrictions

By Joel Hall

jhall@news-daily.com

Clayton County residents once again will have greater residential water use.

After several months of the county's reservoirs remaining near capacity, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) approved the Clayton County Water Authority's (CCWA) petition for eased water restrictions.

Suzanne Brown, CCWA's public information officer, said the Water Authority sent its May 27 petition to Carol Couch, director of EPD, and received approval on Thursday, June 5.

"We were very glad that the state approved this for our customers," said Brown. "We felt that it was unfair to lump us all together," with other counties with less-ample water supplies.

"At this time, our reservoirs are at 99 percent, and they have not fallen below that since February of this year," said Mike Thomas, CCWA general manager. "Our customers deserve relief from the Level Four restrictions that we were under."

Under the modifications, the county is presently under Level IVc restrictions, the most lenient of all Level IV restrictions.

Under Level IVc, all outdoor water usage is allowed on an odd-even basis, three days a week, between the hours of midnight and 10 a.m.

Water users in Clayton County no longer will be limited to 25 minutes of outdoor watering a day and will be able to use an open hose or a sprinkler system to water their lawns and gardens.

Car washing at home will be allowed using the odd-even system.

Between the hours of midnight and 10 a.m., residents with odd-numbered addresses may water on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays, while residents with even addresses may water on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays.

However, no outdoor watering is allowed on Fridays.

Users can fill their swimming pools and water their food gardens with no day or time restrictions. The "watering in" of herbicides, applied by a certified or licensed landscaper, is allowed on the day of application.

Meanwhile, commercial water use by car washes, retail garden centers, and commercial power washing is allowed with no time restrictions.

"As we have said for months, the Clayton County Water Authority planned for drought situations years ago, and we are well-prepared to maintain an adequate supply of water for our customers," Thomas said.