Mandatory water restrictions to come

By Yvette Yeon - bio | email

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, VA (WWBT) - Large parts of the metro area are in severe drought and unless we get some rain soon, mandatory water restrictions could be issued by Wednesday. Petersburg and Colonial Heights and large portions of Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, and Prince George County are at risk.

Break the rules and you can be sure to expect penalties either added to your water bill or in a form of a ticket.

"$50 dollars initially and it doubles with each offense, so it would go from $50 to $100 to $200 and most places have capped it at $400," said James Dawson, Executive Director for the Appomattox River Water Authority.

The water level at Lake Chesdin Reservoir is 6 feet below normal.

"It's drawn down this low this year because it was such a hot summer," said Dawson.

Dawson say just as long as there is enough to get them thru the Thanksgiving Holiday, that should be enough until the start of the winter wet season.

Each jurisdiction in the affected areas has its own rules recommended by Dawson.

Here are some of the rules you will most likely see:

  • No watering on Mondays.
  • Limited car washing at home
  • Even/odd watering days depending on your where you live.
  • Strict outdoor cleaning with a water hose, and use of a nozzle when using the hose.

Here are some recommendations to avoid a penalty:

  • Avoid watering when the sun is at its peak -- between 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. -- so less water will evaporate.
  • Shut off any ornamental water fountains that use up excess water.
  • Cover all pools to avoid evaporation
  • And use a leaf blower instead of the hose when cleaning the driveway or streets.

Every locality has its own rules and regulations. But expect a warning next week because it doesn't look like rain is in the forecast. And, this is the second time the water level at Lake Chesdin has been this low. The last time was in 2002.

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