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Changes for Gwinnett County Water Rules | Environment

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Changes for Gwinnett County Water Rules
Environment

During a recent meeting, Gwinnett commissioners voted to change a law on water conservation to meet rules set this year by the state legislature. The 2010 Georgia Water Stewardship Act (SB 370) requires local governments to adopt certain provisions by Jan. 1, 2011.

Water Resources Acting Director Lynn Smarr said the new regulations are necessary because Georgia needs to continue to preserve our water resources for now and future generations. The new ordinance allows outdoor watering for certain purposes seven days a week during non-drought periods but not between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Uses allowed include irrigation for planting, growing, managing or maintaining ground cover, trees, shrubs or other plants.

Certain uses are unrestricted including commercial operations, personal food gardens, filling swimming pools, hand watering with a hose, soaker hoses, watering crops and recreation areas, and using reclaimed or well water. Other outdoor uses must use the odd-even address schedule.

Wasting water is prohibited in the new law and subject to enforcement. It is defined as use of Gwinnett County water that results in water flowing down any gutter, street, storm drain or adjacent property, irrigation for more than 20 minutes during precipitation, and failure to repair a controllable leak.

Commissioners have also agreed to allocate $300,000 to extend the toilet rebate program into 2011 to help reduce demand for water from Lake Lanier. The popular program gives rebates of $50 or $100 to homeowners who replace pre-1993 toilets with certain new water-saving models. They can expect annual savings of about 15 percent on their water bill. Gwinnett homeowners have replaced 6,676 toilets under the program through September of this year.

The complete text of the new ordinance, which replaces earlier water use, conservation and drought ordinances from 2004 and 2007, is available online at gwinnettcounty.com. Information on the toilet rebate program is at www.northgeorgiawater.com or by calling (404) 463-8645.

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