According to a press release from the Department of Public Works, limited hand-watering - defined as “one person with a garden hose with a spray nozzle that shuts off automatically when it is released” - is permitted for only 25 minutes on an odd-even system. Odd-numbered addresses may water Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, while even-numbered addresses may water on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.
“When you say ‘relaxation,’ there isn’t much of one,” Griffin Director of Public Works Brant Keller said. “Basically, as far as (the) relaxation in Griffin is concerned, we’re still in the 61-county area.”
According to the Georgia state government Web site, the 61 counties are part of a Level Four Drought Response zone where watering has been severely limited.
Keller said that although limited watering of yards is permitted, the means that are allowed will probably prevent much water from being used.
“I don’t know if anyone is going to water with a squeeze-nozzle to water your yard,” he said.
He said 25 minutes with a garden hose is not enough time to water the lawn, particularly since the hours one can water are restricted to between midnight and 10 a.m.
“You can’t put a timer on your hose,” he said. “You have to physically go out there and water it yourself.”
Keller went on to say that because of the remaining restrictions, water sales are 18 to 21 percent lower than usual.
“The lessening (of the restrictions) doesn’t help a whole lot,” he said.
He said that under ordinary circumstances, the city would sell 10 to 11 million gallons per day but is instead selling an average of 8.2 million. This has resulted in the department getting behind on its budget, which was put in place before the drought. He said that at 8.5 million gallons per day, the city will fall short of the projected sale of 282 million gallons in May and 320 million gallons in June. Keller said the projected shortfall is 30 million gallons.
He said the effects of the shortfall will not be felt immediately.
“For this year, it will have little (effect) because we’re actually a little bit ahead,” he said.