Albany-- Georgia's extreme drought continues and so do strict watering guidelines. We are in the middle of a level two drought. That means the usual odd and even watering schedule is even stricter.
No one should water their grass or flowers from 10 a.m. to midnight. That message isn't getting through to everyone. Water, Gas and Light says people continue to break the rules.
Harold Brannen takes pride in his green yard. "Sure do," laughs Brannen.
That's where you'll find him at least a few times throughout the month. "Most of the time once a week I try to get around to doing something in it," said Brannen. But he pushes his wheelbarrow towards his favorite part of the yard. It's unseen to many.
"Going through my garden and I have some cucumbers planted over here on the fence," said Brannen. With a garden and a desire for green, Brannen needs water. Despite the necessity, he'll be the first to tell you he follows watering guidelines.
"My days are Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays so I let it run Wednesdays and Saturdays," said Brannen. However, not everyone is as cooperative.
"We get about three or four phone calls everyday," said Lorie Farkas with Water, Gas and Light. Farkas says calls have come into Water, Gas and Light, not complaining about the ban, but about people breaking the ban.
"In the day of cell phones, there's nowhere to hide. So it's not just your neighbor looking over to see whether you're using water when they're not able to but it's also people driving by," said Farkas.
So you don't get caught wet-handed, here are the rules. Odd-numbered addresses can only water on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. Even-numbered can water on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. No one can water on Fridays. Even on your assigned day, you can only water from midnight to 10 a.m.
"That includes washing your car. That includes pressure washing your house. There are a few exemptions however," said Farkas.
Here are the exemptions. You can water if you have a private well, if you have a vegetable garden and if you recently had a major landscaping project done by a licensed landscaper. These are the rules all over the state of Georgia.
"Soon as we get some rain, hopefully we'll go back down to a level one drought," said Farkas. Rain is what Harold Brannen is waiting for. "The peppers. They're kind of poorly. They're not doing as well as I thought they would," said Brannen.
For now, he'll settle for what he can get and the days and times he's allowed to treat his yard to some much needed H20. Brannen said, "It makes the grass greener."
Water ban violators get a warning ticket the first time. The second time, you face a $200 fine and termination of water services. The watering ban does NOT apply to businesses who rely on water such as car washes. But those fundraising car washes you often see on the weekends are in violation.
Farkas says if you have questions about these car washes, call WG&L for possible solutions.