Federal drought chart for the Southeast as of September 6.
GRIFFIN, Ga. - The increasing drought across much of Georgia has forced officials in Griffin to enact and enforce a total ban on outdoor watering, effective Friday.
Water levels in the Flint River and other waterways that feed the Heads Creek Reservoir have dropped to the point that the restrictions are necessary, according to officials.
The ban will prohibit filling of pools (if water is needed to maintain the structural integrity of the pool, it will be permitted), vehicle washing, outdoor lawn and landscape watering, ornamental fountains, reflecting pools, waterfalls, outdoor building washing, washing of hard surfaces like driveways and sidewalks - unless necessary for public health purposes - and non-commercial fund-raising car washes.
Some exceptions are permitted - reuse watering is permitted, as is gray water reuse. Newly installed landscape installed by professional or licensed landscapers is permitted to be watered during installation and for 30 days following installation, but only between midnight and 10 a.m. (and those landscapers must be licensed or certified for their exemptions to apply). Irrigation contractors are also exempt during installation and as needed for proper maintenance and adjustments. Food gardens for personal use are exempted, as are golf courses using reclaimed water, retail garden and nursery centers, sod producers, commercial food growers, car washes, and pressure washers. Construction sites are also permitted, as are necessary activities "essential to daily business."
If anyone has any questions, they are asked to call the Griffin Public Works and Utilities Department at 770-229-6603.
Griffin officials said that due to the current reservoir levels, that drinking water may be tainted with a brownish color. They went on to say that despite this, the water is still safe to drink and meets all drinking water quality standards.
Much of Georgia is under the most severe drought classification, according to the National Drought Mitigation Center, and falls into the "extreme drought" category. Much of the northern portion of the state, including the northern portions of Metro Atlanta is under the next classification - severe drought.