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Georgia Bans Residential Outdoor Watering

Throughout Georgia the tightest watering restrictions available have been ordered however, one important caveat is that local jurisdictions are free to put in place restrictions that are more stringent than the state's.

Director Carol Couch of the Georgia Environmental Protection Division has ordered the tightest watering restrictions available to her under the state's drought plan recently, banning virtually all outdoor water use in metro Atlanta and the rest of northern third of Georgia, effective September 28, 2007.

According to Couch, the persistent drought taking place "has reached historical proportions."

The new limits may not be enough however; if the situation does not improve, Couch said she might eliminate some exemptions that allow businesses to continue outdoor watering. The exemptions apply to certain businesses; such as landscapers, watering newly installed landscaping.

Those exemptions include:

  • The irrigation of personal food gardens.
  • Watering new landscaping (in place less than 30 days) and installed by "certified or licensed professionals," sports turf landscapers and golf course contractors.
  • The irrigation of golf course greens.
  • The use of stormwater or condensed water from air conditioners.
  • Re-use of gray water (partially treated water) as allowed by local jurisdictions.
  • Commercial water use by irrigation contractors during installation and adjustment, sod producers, ornamental growers, fruit and vegetable growers, retail garden centers, hydro-seeding, power-washing, construction sites, producers of food and fiber, car washes, watering in of pesticides and herbicides on turf, and "other activities essential to daily business."

Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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October 17, 2019, 6:50 am PDT

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