Hefty penalties possible for those who violate watering rules - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Hefty penalties possible for those who violate watering rules

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By  Stephanie Springer  - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –The rules governing your water use are changing. For years, restrictions were based on your address and the day of the week.

It can get confusing. Now, local governments are adopting new state guidelines that are easier to remember.They must also approve how violators will be punished.

We've been under water restrictions for years in Georgia, but come the first of the year, new rules will be enforced. Dougherty County leaders went over a proposed resolution today that includes some pretty hefty penalties for people who violate the rules.

It's been weeks since we've had any rain, and Mickey Kennedy says he's been cutting a lot of very dry lawns, "What we've seen have been a lot of dry lawns, tons of leaves on the ground," said Mickey Kennedy, owner of Benchmark lawn care service.

But even with the lack of rain, he doesn't see too many people irrigating their lawns this time of year. "Watering at this time doesn't too good, we just need some rain," said Kennedy.

But come spring time, folks may be tempted to run their sprinklers for hours at a time. Today County commissioners went over new state rules that limit when you can run your water. "What it says is we will have no watering between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm," said Commissioner Chuck Lingle.

"There has never been a time limit placed on when someone can water and with the increase in dry weather we are facing, it has prompted the state to take action to limit the use of water and make the best use of what we have," said Lingle.

And if you don't follow those rules, you could get into big trouble. "The county police will be all over it maximum fine 1,000 dollars and 60 days in jail, or 60 days in jail..they are serious about enforcing it," said Lingle.

Those rules do not go in to effect until January 2011. There are exemptions to this mandate including those who water in commercial agriculture, irrigation of athletic fields and watering by hand.

The Dougherty County commission is scheduled to vote on the resolution next Monday.

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