On March 2, 2017, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division issued an update to the drought response status for the state. Twelve counties around the metro Atlanta area, including Douglas County, will remain in the level 2 drought declaration. Though there was some significant rainfall during the winter months, the metro region as a whole is still suffering from a rainfall deficit. This is important as we move into an early spring season, as the level 2 drought declaration imposes a handful of outdoor watering restrictions on our community, as well as requires your local water utility, The Douglasville-Douglas County Water and Sewer Authority, to implement water conservation methods within their scope of operations. Rainfall may return to normal during the spring and summer months, but we need to take reasonable measures to be responsible stewards of water and to be prepared for the possibility this is a long-term drought.
What does this mean for me, a WSA customer? Above all, we are we are asking our customers to keep using Douglas County’s water resources wisely! Be conscientious about water use around your home or business and make sure you are not wasting this valuable resource. A level 2 drought response also imposes the following outdoor watering restrictions:
(a) General Outdoor Watering. Outdoor watering for gardens, lawns, and trees will be limited to twice a week on an odd-even schedule. Even numbered addresses may water on Wednesday and Saturday between the hours of 4:00 p.m. and 10:00 a.m. Odd numbered addresses may water on Thursday and Sunday between the hours of 4:00 p.m. and 10:00 a.m. “Even numbered address” means an address number ending with the number 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, or the site does not have a numbered address. “Odd numbered address” means an address ending with the number 1, 3, 5, 7, or 9.
(b) Specific Categories of Outdoor Water Use. The following outdoor water uses are restricted:
- Washing streets, gutters, sidewalks, or driveways.
- Non-commercial washing or pressure washing.
- Ornamental uses such as fountains or waterfalls.
- Washing vehicles (cars, boats, etc.) at home.
- Charity or non-commercial fund-raiser car washes.
Please feel free to print and display our informational drought flyer at your home, business, or community organization.
Does this mean I cannot use water for things like gardening and washing my car? The level 2 drought response watering restrictions do limit some activities around your home. You may still use water for your landscaping or gardening needs, but you will be required to adhere to the odd-even two-day schedule, as well as stay within the prescribed watering times between 4:00 p.m. and 10:00 a.m. Other outdoor water uses such as washing your car, running a fountain in your yard, or pressure washing your driveway are not allowed under the level 2 drought response. Please note that you will still have the option to utilize a commercial car wash or licensed pressure washing business.
What can I do to help? There are plenty of easy things you can do to make sure you are using water resources responsibly.
What are some measures WSA has taken to conserve and protect water in Douglas County? Over the past decade, we have implemented several large scale projects and programs to drive conservation and protect the natural resources we use every day. Some examples of these significant measures include:
- Google/WSA Partnership: Developed a re-use facility that uses non-potable water to cool the servers at Google’s Douglasville facility. Had we not collaborated to develop this plan, Google would have needed to take a large amount of treated drinking water from WSA’s system every day. WSA and Google have received national recognition for this initiative.
- Flow Augmentation Line: We are required each day to release a set amount of water from our dam into the Chattahoochee River. The flow augmentation line takes clean, treated wastewater directly from our South Central Plant and deposits it into the river, lessening the amount we must release from our Dog River dam, which in return, keeps the dam fuller with water that can be used for our customers.
- Toilet Rebate Program: Administered by WSA in 2010-2011, this program rebated customers for replacing old toilets with new low flow models in their homes and businesses.
- Reservoir Expansion and Strategic Future Planning: We know that the population of Douglas County and thus, the demands on our system, will only continue to increase as time goes on. WSA has made sure we are forward and future thinking when it comes to water resources.
- Well informed customer base, community and governmental leaders, and engaged Board of Directors: Our involvement with the local community is widespread and promotes the importance of water, conservation, and good stewardship. Our community members are our best allies!
Where can I keep track of drought conditions? The U.S. Drought Monitor is a great tool to keep up with drought conditions around the state. You can view the monitor here. The Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District also provides valuable information about water conservation and usage in metro Atlanta on their website, NorthGeorgiaWater.org.