Stockbridge adopts new state outdoor water waste regulations

STOCKBRIDGE — The city of Stockbridge now has an ordinance in place that prohibits wasting water, per Georgia Environmental Protection Division regulations adopted in 2010.

City Attorney Michael Williams presented the item to the Stockbridge City Council Monday before the council adopted the new regulations. The prohibitions now include:

• allowing water to escape from premises to any public right of way such as streets, sidewalks, pond or any other person’s property.

• operating an irrigation system or any other lawn or landscaping watering device during rain.

• operating an irrigation system or any other lawn or landscaping watering device that has any broken or missing sprinkler heads

• failing to repair a controllable leak including a broken sprinkler head, or leaky valve or outdoor faucet or a service leak on premises owned or leased by that person within 30 days.

• washing any vehicle with a hose and not having a water shut off nozzle or allowing the water to run continuously while washing any vehicle.

There are some exceptions, however, that include water applied to abate spills of flammable or otherwise hazardous materials, water used for power-washing hard surfaces to alleviate safety or sanitary hazards, and emptying of swimming pools for maintenance.

Mayor Pro Tem Anthony Ford inquired whether any fines would be associated with any violations and if the city’s code enforcement officer be responsible for enforcing the new ordinance.

Williams responded that violations could be enforced by code enforcement or police and suggested that the fine be the same as the general fine for code violations, up to $1,000, or as determined by the court. He added that the amount of the fine could be based on the number of violations and the extremity of the violation.

Councilman John Blount abstained from voting on the new ordinance after having expressed concern about homes that have angled driveways that would cause water to down-flow onto a street.

Cities and counties across Georgia are expected to adopt similar ordinances if they haven’t already.

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