Water Restrictions Eased In City
Yard Watering, Washing Of Cars OK On Odd-Even Schedule Three Days A Week
Gentlemen, start your sprinklers. From midnight to 10 a.m. on an odd-even schedule, of course.
City Manager Clarence Bryant announced Monday night that Commerce residents will be able to use water outdoors on an odd-even schedule by the end of the week.
“You can wash your car, water your lawn, whatever you want to do,” Bryant advised.
Like many other water providers in North Georgia, Commerce has been working with the EPD for months to try to get the water use restrictions reduced. At Monday night’s council meeting, Bryant announced that a letter from the EPD granting that relief was expected “tomorrow or the next day” (Tuesday or Wednesday) following “10 or 12 conversations with the EPD over the last three days.”
The watering of yards and landscapes will follow a schedule in which residents with odd-numbered street addresses can water from midnight to 10 a.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, while those with even-numbered addresses can water during the same hours Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.
“You can wash your car, you can pressure wash your house,” said Bryan Harbin, the city’s director of water and sewer operations. “Basically, you can use outdoor water on the odd-even schedule.”
The odd-even schedule applies to those other functions, but not the midnight to 10 a.m. restriction, Harbin said.
Last summer, the EPD and Gov. Sonny Perdue placed severe restrictions on 61 North Georgia counties in reaction to the drought. But in Commerce, the city reservoir never got low enough to trigger the city’s EPD-approved (and required) drought contingency plan. Today, the reservoir is still full and city officials are anxious to sell water to help meet the city’s debt obligations.
The EPD made its decisions based on water data from May 2007 through last month, Harbin said.
The Upper Oconee Basin Water Authority, which manages the regional Bear Creek Reservoir, is also hopeful of getting relief from the restrictions. That would enable customers of the Jackson County Water and Sewerage Authority to water once a week.
Also Monday night, the council approved a beer and wine sales license for Vaughn’s Wing Slingers Grill, re-elected Sam Chaney to the Commerce Library Board, re-elected Archie D. Chaney Jr. to the Commerce Housing Authority and approved an ordinance that prohibits “excessive” begging.
The council also approved a contract to purchase 10 megawatts of electricity from the two nuclear power units being added to Plant Vogtle. The city does not expect to be able to buy that much, however. Half of the power would become available when the plant comes online in 2016 or 2017 and the other half would be sold to third parties for 20 years.