Voluntary water restrictions for Richmond-area localities

Courtesy: James, of Seven Springs Marina on Lake Chesdin
Courtesy: James, of Seven Springs Marina on Lake Chesdin

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Effective today, the city of Richmond, and counties of Henrico, Hanover and Goochland announce voluntary water conservation measures. Chesterfield County will begin mandatory restrictions on September 15 based on the water levels in Lake Chesdin.

It's been weeks since we've had significant rain. The water levels fairly low. Lake Chesdin is where we are really suffering. The water level 8.8 feet below the spillway. A week ago, we were looking at levels 7.1 feet below the spillway.

Since the month of September began only 0.23 of an inch of rain. We're closing in on 9 inches below normal and much of that deficit actually occurring during the summer months.

Brought on by low water levels in the James River, voluntary compliance will assist local governments in providing water to all customers in the region, while also meeting the requirements of the James

River Regional Flow Management Plan. This plan calls for the implementation of voluntary conservation measures once water levels in the James River reach Natural River Flow (NRF) 14-day rolling average of 1,200 cfs (cubic feet per second) or approximately 3.4 feet of depth at the Richmond-Westham Gauge.

Depending on individual usage amounts during voluntary conservation measures, city of Richmond DPU customers may also see a conservation rate surcharge on their utility bills. DPU's water conservation rate went into effect July 1, 2008. During designated conservation periods customers who make the decision to use more than 140 percent of their normal winter water usage will pay a higher commodity rate on their excess usage. This is to encourage conservation-friendly behavior.

Significant rainfall may eliminate the current low water level conditions, allowing these voluntary water conservation measures to be lifted. Henrico County DPU customers will be allowed to water their lawns refurbished through motorized means for 30 days if the refurbishment occurs between September 1 and October 31.

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