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Georgia EPD Eases Watering Limits

Post Date:09/07/2017 11:56 AM

September 7, 2017

Georgia EPD Eases Watering Limits, Reminds Citizens Year-round Conservation Needed

The Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) is easing outdoor water use restrictions in 55 counties including Fulton County, but reminds Georgians that state law requires some statewide outdoor watering limits year-round.

"Substantial rainfall over the past few months has led to significant improvement in streamflows and reservoir levels. Due to effective river basin management and above average rainfall, Lake Lanier water levels are up five feet since the start of the year. It is typically dry in the fall, but we expect the lake to continue to refill during the winter. As drought recovery continues, we urge citizens to be good stewards of our water resources," said EPD Director Richard Dunn.

This decision cancels the Level 2 Drought Response watering schedule that limited landscape watering to two days per week based on odd-even address numbers. It also prohibited other types of water use including non-commercial vehicle washing and pressure washing.

Georgians must still follow the non-drought outdoor water use schedule required in the Water Stewardship Act of 2010. This law allows all types of outdoor water use, but landscape watering may only take place before 10:00 a.m. or after 4:00 p.m. No landscape watering is allowed between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. This is done to limit evaporation during the warmest part of the day.

Source: Original EPD press release available here.

Level 1 Drought Response Guidelines

  • Landscape watering may only take place before 10:00 a.m. or after 4:00 p.m.

  • Allowed daily at any time of the day by anyone:
    • Vehicle washing and pressure washing (commercial and non-commercial);
    • Commercial agricultural operations as defined in Code Section 1-3-3;
    • Capture and reuse of cooling system condensate or storm water in compliance with applicable local ordinances and state guidelines;
    • Reuse of gray water in compliance with Code Section 31-3-5.2 and applicable local board of health regulations adopted pursuant thereto;
    • Use of reclaimed waste water by a designated user from a system permitted by the Environmental Protection Division of the department to provide reclaimed waste water;
    • Irrigation of personal food gardens;
    • Irrigation of new and replanted plant, seed, or turf in landscapes, golf courses, or sports turf fields during installation and for a period of 30 days immediately following the date of installation;
    • Drip irrigation or irrigation using soaker hoses;
    • Handwatering with a hose with automatic cutoff or handheld container;
    • Use of water withdrawn from private water wells or surface water by an owner or operator of property if such well or surface water is on said property;
    • Irrigation of horticultural crops held for sale, resale, or installation;
    • Irrigation of athletic fields, golf courses, or public turf grass recreational areas;
    • Installation, maintenance, or calibration of irrigation systems; or
    • Hydroseeding
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