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Outdoor Water Conservation / Drought Response Instructions

Update (9-7-17) Level 1 Drought Response - City of Smyrna receives notification that drought response for our area is now at Level 1.

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Update (3-1-17) Level 2 Drought Response still in place. Information (below) last updated on December 15, 2016 - Level 2 Drought Response is still in place. Between March and November, about 23 inches of rain fell in Atlanta, more than 13 inches below average. Experts predict dry, warm weather is likely to persist through the winter. We are asked to prepare for the possibility of a multiyear drought and are asked to conserve water resources accordingly. Link to December 15, 2016 Level 2 Drought Response Residential Fact Sheet.   

----------- Instructions for Level 2 Drought Response contained within the November 17, 2016 information (below)-------

November 17, 2016 - EPD Elevates Drought Response to Level 2.

Our County, along with northwest Georgia Counties down to Metro Atlanta, are now at Level 2 for drought response. This means that there are limits to outdoor watering to two days a week on an odd-even schedule. Link to press release: http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.gawp.org/resource/resmgr/Drought/EPDNewsRelease_DroughtLevel2.pdf

  • Even-numbered addresses may water Wednesdays and Saturdays (4:00 p.m. to 10:00 a.m.).

  • Odd-numbered addresses may water Thursdays and Sundays (4:00 p.m. to 10:00 a.m.)

  • No water is allowed to be used for outdoor fountains, car washes or power washing of homes.

Prohibited outdoor water uses under Level 2 Drought Response include:

  • Washing hard surfaces such as streets and sidewalks

  • Water for ornamental purposes, such as fountains

  • The use of fire hydrants, except for firefighting and public safety

  • Fundraising car washes

We are urged to act accordingly, use good judgment and avoid outdoor burning and watering.

The Level 2 response is in affect for 52 counties with the Level 1 response (our designation prior to Thurs., Nov. 17, 2016) in affect for an additional 58 counties.

The following activities are allowed under both Level 1 and Level 2 Drought Responses:

  • Irrigation of personal food gardens may be done at any time of day.
  • Irrigation of new and replanted plant, seed, or turf may be done at any time of day for 30 days after installation.
  • Drip irrigation or irrigation using soaker hoses may be done at any time of day and hand-watering with a hose with automatic cutoff or handheld container may be done at any time of day.
  • General landscape watering may be done between 4:00 p.m. and 10:00 a.m. on the designated days.

More water conservation information is available at http://epd.georgia.gov/water-conservation.

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Prior to November 17, 2016 - Georgia's Environmental Protection Division declared a Level 1 response across northwest Georgia on Friday, September 9, 2016. This declaration requires water providers to educate the public about drought conditions and water conservation. You may follow us on our social media channels (select the appropriate icon at the top or the bottom of this website for access to our social media channels) for instruction along the way.

The declaration follows a wet winter, but a dry spring and summer. According to the National Weather Service, from March through August, Atlanta received 16.59 inches of rain – around 8.5 inches less than the 30-year average for the same six-month period. We don’t know how long the dry weather will continue. Rainfall may return to normal, 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.

The state’s permanent year-round outdoor watering restrictions limit outdoor watering to the hours between 4:00 p.m. and 10:00 a.m. to avoid the hottest part of the day when more evaporation occurs, with certain limited exceptions as set forth in the 2010 Georgia Water Stewardship Act.

Websites that may be helpful to you are as follows:

Below are helpful tips for water conservation followed by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources 2015 outdoor watering restrictions.

  • Regularly check for, and repair, leaks inside and outside your home.
  • Don’t leave the tap running. When shaving, brushing teeth, washing face, turn off the tap.
  • Only water your landscape when necessary and adjust sprinklers so only your lawn is watered and not the house, sidewalk or street.
    • For example, the following activities may be done at any time of day under a Drought Response Level 1: 
      • Irrigation of personal food gardens may be done at any time of day;
      • Irrigation of new and replanted plant, seed, or turf may be done at any time of day for 30 days after installation;
      • Drip irrigation or irrigation using soaker hoses may be done at any time of day; and
      • Hand watering with a hose with automatic cutoff or handheld container may be done at any time of day.
  • General landscape watering may be done between 4:00 pm and 10:00 am each day.
  • More water conservation information is available at https://epd.georgia.gov/water-conservation. The Rules for Drought Management are available at http://rules.sos.ga.gov/gac/391-3-30. A public report on current climatic indicators, is available at https://epd.georgia.gov/water-conservation.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources Board adopted a new drought management rule in 2015 which updated outdoor watering restrictions.  Per the rule (which can be found here):

 

(a)

Persons may irrigate outdoors daily for purposes of planting, growing, managing, or maintaining ground cover, trees, shrubs, or other plants only between the hours of 4:00 p.m. and 10:00 a.m.

 

(b)

Paragraph (a) shall not create any limitation upon the following outdoor water uses:

1.

Commercial agricultural operations as defined in Code Section1-3-3;

 

2.

Capture and reuse of cooling system condensate or storm water in compliance with applicable local ordinances and state guidelines;

 

3.

Reuse of gray water in compliance with Code Section 31-3-5.2 and applicable local board of health regulations adopted pursuant thereto;

 

4.

Use of reclaimed waste water by a designated user from a system permitted by the Environmental Protection Division of the department to provide reclaimed waste water;

 

5.

Irrigation of personal food gardens;

 

6.

Irrigation of new and replanted plant, seed, or turf in landscapes, golf courses, or sports turf fields during installation and for a period of 30 days immediately following the date of installation;

 

7.

Drip irrigation or irrigation using soaker hoses;

 

8.

Hand watering with a hose with automatic cutoff or handheld container;

 

9.

Use of water withdrawn from private water wells or surface water by an owner or operator of property if such well or surface water is on said property;

 

10.

Irrigation of horticultural crops held for sale, resale, or installation;

 

11.

Irrigation of athletic fields, golf courses, or public turf grass recreational areas;

 

12.

Installation, maintenance, or calibration of irrigation systems; or

 

13.

Hydroseeding.

 

 

(c)

Paragraph (a) shall not create any limitation upon outdoor water uses for purposes other than planting, growing, managing, or maintaining ground cover, trees, shrubs, or other plants.

 

 Addition resource websites:

 

Smyrna Toilet Retrofit Program

The Smyrna Toilet Retrofit Program is a rebate program handled as a credit on the customer’s water bill. The toilet rebate amount is a $50.00 credit  for 1.6 GPF toilets and a $100.00 credit for WaterSense Labeled High Efficiency Toilets which are 1.28 GPF toilets.

The Smyrna Toilet Retrofit Program is administered by the Utility Services Department. All paper work should submitted to the department and the determination of qualification will be made by the Utility Services Manager. The required paperwork includes proof of installation by means of the original purchase receipt, and if installed by a plumber, the original plumbing installation receipt. Please submit this form with the receipts.

FAQ:

  • Is every customer eligible for the program?
    This program is available for Smyrna water system customers whose homes were completed before 1993. The goal of the program is to retrofit such homes with low flow fixtures. Homes constructed during 1993 and after already have low flow toilets because the Federal Energy Policy Act of 1992 mandated low flow fixtures in all homes.
  •  Do I have to be a Smyrna Water System customer to take advantage of this program?
    Yes. In order to qualify for this program you must be a customer of Smyrna Water System.  
  • How do I participate in the program?
    Eligible customers can download the application from our website or receive the information by contacting the Utility Services Department at (678) 631-5338. After purchasing the toilet and having it installed, the customer must complete the application and send it or bring it, along with the original receipt, to the Utility Services Department at City Hall. The application will be reviewed, and provided funding is still available for the program, a credit will be issued on the customer’s water bill.  
  • What is a WaterSense High Efficiency Toilet?
    These toilets are eligible for a $100.00 rebate. WaterSense is the Environmental Protection Agency’s labeling program for water efficiency, modeled after the Energy Star labeling program. The WaterSense labeled toilets only use an average of 1.28 gallons of water per flush and have passed rigorous testing standards.  
  • Do I have to buy the toilet at a particular store?
    No. A customer can buy from any retailer, even online, but we do need the original invoice sent in with the application. The Utility Services Department advises customers keep a copy of the receipt for their records.  
  • Is there anything else I need to buy with the toilet?
    It may be possible that a new wax ring or additional bolts may be needed when purchasing the toilet. Please work with your retailer or plumber to ensure you have all the equipment you need to have a working toilet.  
  • I have more than one toilet. Can I receive a credit for more than one toilet?
    Yes. The Utility Services Department realizes many homes in the city have more than one bathroom. The program is not limited to a specific number of toilets per household.  
  • Do I have to hire someone to install the toilet?
    No. The decision on who installs the toilet is up to the individual customer.  
  • Can businesses qualify for this program?
    This program is for residential customers only.

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