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Decatur Adds New Restrictions on Water Use


Decatur's city manager says the new restrictions on water use are the most severe officials can find on record.

Among changes taking effect Thursday morning, Ryan McCrady said for the first time, residents won't be allowed to water their lawns or landscaping. People who maintain vegetable gardens must reduce their watering to three days a week, out of buckets that hold five gallons or less.

The drought has dropped the level of Lake Decatur to 611.51 feet, or three feet below normal. That's just above where it was last fall, but McCrady said getting the word out early has meant few residents fail to comply.

"I think our citizens have been aware that this drought, that's been going on since last July, that they were aware these types of restrictions might come back," he said. "And I think that they've prepared themselves for it."

The restrictions also mean that commercial car washes will have to shut down while the restrictions are in effect. Anyone who violates restrictions can face a fine of up to $250 plus court costs.

McCrady said the city monitors the long-term forecasts up to 90 days for not only rainfall, but temperature, as it impacts evaporation from the lake.