Homeowners worried about lawns during drought restrictions

HOMEWOOD, Ala. (WIAT) — Many homeowners who are Birmingham Water Works customers are starting to feel the pinch from this drought. The water company implemented Stage 3 water restrictions Thursday.

The sound of sprinklers is common mid-morning in most neighborhoods. Under Stage 3 drought restrictions, those sounds might die.

“No, I haven’t watered this section here for two plus weeks,” Mike Fitzgerald explained. Small sprinklers were running Thursday morning. He keeps a close eye on his water usage.

“That’s what the water meter is right there,” Fitzgerald said, pointing to small gauge inside the water meter box. The separate meter tracks how much water his sprinklers use. In fact, Fitzgerald doesn’t let any water go to waste. He’s got two rain barrels attached to his gutters.

“There’s so much water that comes off your roof down into the gutters through the downspouts. It’s amazing,” Fitzgerald said. The barrels only cost about $80. He says he saves that much in water or more a year.

“Of course, [the barrels are] empty now,” Fitzgerald laughed. He was hoping to get some of the rain forecast for Thursday. He said that it didn’t take much to fill the barrels. He uses the water collected there to water his plants and flowerbeds. Even though Fitzgerald ran the sprinklers, that won’t happen again for a while.

“I think it’s more economics is what they’re more concerned with,” Fitzgerald explained.

“They’d rather let their plants die and not buy rain barrels and do other things to keep them somewhat alive until we can get some rain.”

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