Chesterfield man says county didn't notify him of water restrictions

Clayton Rhoades is one of the homeowners who's received a water restriction violation. He says around 4:30 Wednesday morning his automated sprinklers were on. Under the mandatory restrictions he was in compliance. He says he didn't know emergency restrictions had taken effect until he got a violation on his door.

"It went into effect on Tuesday," said Rhoades.  "Our system went into effect on Wednesday, because that's the day we could water under the previous rule. And I guess the Grass-staupo was out at 4:30 in the morning and they left a note on our door with a fine for $200."

The Midlothian man says he didn't get the word about emergency restrictions until a violation was hanging on his door.

"They have the rules here.  All they had to do was print these leaflets and put them in the doors or put them in the mailbox."

Rhoades is mad the information vital to more than 100,000 county water customers was only announced through the media.

"We're living in 2010. They don't use emails. They don't use automated phone banks to place a phone call to citizens. They don't use the US mail."

The utilities department says it followed the rules of the water restriction ordinance. Beginning Friday it sent out information and advertisements through radio, TV and newspapers- alerting people of the changes that would take effect on Tuesday. The county says people should have gotten the message.

Since water restrictions went into effect more than 160 people have been ticketed.  One person was cited twice.  The $17,000 in fines will go in the utility department's general fund. Clayton doesn't know if a neighbor reported him.  But he's not about to do the same.

"I'm not going to go around monitoring my neighbors, I"m too busy living my life."

You can appeal the violation that shows up on your water bill. You can also call in to report one of your neighbors you do that with the utilities department 748-1271