In response to ongoing drought conditions, the Atlanta City Council has approved comprehensive outdoor water use restrictions which include fines up to $1,000 for violations and possible service termination.
The new ordinance, adopted June 18, calls for a written warning to be issued to first-time violators. A second violation would result in a $100 fine; a third violation in a $500 fine and a fourth violation would result in a $1,000 fine.
A fourth violation would also subject users to termination of water service. The penalties will appear on the water/sewer bills. The City Utilities Committee previously removed a provision that would have subjected violators to jail time.
The last time stringent water restrictions were enacted in Atlanta was in response to the 1986-1988 drought.
City of Atlanta customers, as well as those in Sandy Springs and unincorporated south Fulton County, with even-numbered addresses may only water outdoors on Saturdays from 12:01 a.m. to 10 a.m. Those customers at odd-numbered addresses may water on Sundays between midnight and 10 a.m.
The City’s largest outdoor water users – parks and golf courses, for example – can choose to water on Mondays or Fridays during the restricted hours rather than on the weekends. They must contact the city’s Department of Watershed Management for permission.
The new ordinance exempts watering of personal food gardens and newly installed landscapes, which may be watered any day of the week between the hours of 12:01 a.m. and 10 a.m. for a period of 30 days following installation
The following commercial outdoor water uses are exempt from the watering restrictions:
• Professionally certified or licensed landscapers, golf course contractors, and sports turf landscapers during installation and 30 days following installation only. (Professional landscapers must be certified or licensed for commercial exemptions to apply)
• Irrigation contractors during installation and as needed for proper maintenance and adjustments of irrigation systems and equipment only
• Sod producers
• Ornamental growers
• Fruit and vegetable growers
• Retail garden centers
• Construction sites
• Producers of food and fiber
• Car washes
• Other activities essential to daily business
• Watering-in of pesticides and herbicides on turf.