Mandatory water restrictions now in effect - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Mandatory water restrictions now in effect

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Mandatory water restrictions are now in effect after recent rains failed to remedy drought conditions at Lake Chesdin.

Signs saying "water is low" on Lake Chesdin hardly tell the full story. Boats already docked are barely afloat. That's a big problem for Jon McKee. He works for Chesdin Boat Sales. It's not easy to sell a boat when you can barely get it out on the lake.

"There's nobody here," McKee said. "We usually sell oil and parts and so forth, and a boat now and then, but you can see my car is the only car in the lot."

The water level is several feet below where it should be, so now mandatory water restrictions are in place in Chesterfield, the Tri-Cities and Dinwiddie.

Many people are now praying for rain.

"It'll probably go down this year unless we get a hurricane or two," McKee said. "Rain won't do it. The ground is so dry it absorbs the rain, the water, and it doesn't fill up the lake."

The restrictions vary slightly in each city and county. Chesterfield, Colonial Heights, Dinwiddie, Petersburg and Prince George all have restrictions on swimming pools, washing your car and watering your lawn and garden.

Eddie Forrest is one of the thousands of people affected by these restrictions. He's ready to say goodbye to his green lawn.

"If we have to cut our water back a little bit once in a while and that makes a difference and that helps, than I don't think it's a bad idea," Forrest said. "You have to do what you have to do."

If you're caught watering, it could cost you up to $100 for the first offense. Repeat offenders can pay up to $1,600.

"It's only a problem if you get caught," he said.

If you go to a restaurant in any of these areas, they won't serve you a glass of water unless you ask for it.

Chesterfield County announced details of its response Thursday morning. For a look at the specific restrictions in each locality - click here.

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