Water restrictions really work

By Yvette Yeon - bio | email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - One week from today, Chesterfield County will be under mandatory water restrictions.

In response to historic low levels at Lake Chesdin, Chesterfield will join Dinwiddie County, Petersburg and Colonial Heights, where those restrictions went into effect Wednesday.

The Appomattox River Water Authority has kept a close eye on the water levels at Lake Chesdin, and it's been disappointing. But how can watering even odd days or getting served water only when asked at restaurants really make difference?

According to an irrigation contractor, Virgil Walker of Walker Distribution & Service Inc., an average irrigation system at a house puts out 7 gallons of water a minute. Virgil says, if you take that number and multiply it by the number of hours one waters a day, in the end, about 8-million gallons of water can be saved a day for every 10-thousand homes. Chesterfield County alone has over 10,000 homes.

"If you took a day an average day and people were only allowed to use water for drinking, bathrooms, necessary things like that and they weren't allowed to irrigate their lawn, or their gardens or wash cars, I bet you would save upwards of 80 percent of the water…I bet only 20 percent of water is actually being used for pertinent water supply," said Virgil.

Chesterfield County homeowner, Gary Wiltshire is catching up on watering his lawn after a weeklong vacation away. He even made sure to call the Chesterfield County office before starting his sprinklers.

"They told me with my address starting September 15th, that I can water on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday," said Wiltshire.

About 10 minutes a day every other day is all his lawn gets.

"Sometimes you have to sacrifice for the good of everyone and that's the way I see it," he said.

For those who live in  Dinwiddie County and Colonial Heights, restrictions start today but it'll take about a week before they start ticketing. For Petersburg, restrictions and enforcement all started Wednesday.

If you live in Chesterfield County the rules don't apply until September 15, but they'll apply to everyone in the county.

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