Neighbors enforce Dougherty water restrictions - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Neighbors enforce Dougherty water restrictions

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October 26, 2007

Albany -- Its every man for himself when it comes to the battle of Georgia's water restrictions. And the front lines have become front lawns.

"People caught watering in violation are being turned in by neighbors. With everyone having access to a cell phone there is no more secrets," said Lorie Farkas of Water Gas and Light.

An act that many won't hesitate to do if it means saving what's become Georgia's most precious resource, water.

"If you are speeding through the neighborhood, I am going to call the police because I have children. And if you use water wrongly, it will affect my family eventually. So I should be able to call the code enforcement and turn those people in," said Austin Newman. 

Dry patches in lawns are becoming more common, but it's a small price to pay to make sure that those restrictions don't get tighter. "We are under a level two restriction in Albany, and we are extremely fortunate that we have not been moved to a level four like the rest of the state," said Farkas. 

Phone calls continue to pour in, and the residents reprimanded do learn their lesson. "In all the years that we have had water restrictions, we have never had to go back out but one time. So nobody in Albany have ever been given a financial burden," said Farkas.

"Those rules are put in place for a reason. We got think about our people in Atlanta and the Augusta area. They are really struggling right now with the lack of water," said Newman. A struggle residents in Southwest Georgia don't want to experience here.

Residents with even number addresses can only water on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. Odd addresses can water on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday. No one can water on Fridays and all watering must be done between midnight and 10:00 a.m.

First offenders get warnings. There is a $200 fine for a second offense, and your water will be shut off until the fine is paid. It could be worse. North Georgia is under a complete watering ban.

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