Birmingham Water Works announces Stage 4: Extreme Drought Emergency

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Friday, the Birmingham Water Works announced an upgrade to Stage Four — Extreme Drought Emergency.

“The extended dry weather, record high temperatures, and no measurable rain in the next 10 day forecast places the storage supply of the utility’s Lake Purdy reservoir in a precarious position for the remainder of the year,” the press release says.

Birmingham Water Works says customers reduced water use from 115 million gallons per day to 105, but they hope to see an additional reduction by 5 percent.

This was a very significant reduction and shows that the customers of the Birmingham Water Works are supportive of the message to reduce their water usage.” said Darryl R. Jones, Assistant General Manager of Operations and Technical Services for the BWW. “We also believe that we should continue to emphasize to our customers the severity of this weather crisis and engage them to help manage the demands for water until adequate rain returns to this area.”

Below is an outline of the guidelines for the extreme drought emergency:

  • The Birmingham Water Works will increase the surcharges for excessive water use to 400% of the normal charges.
  • Municipalities will be requested to adopt and implement their Drought Management Ordinance, Extreme Emergency Stage and enforce the watering rules within their communities.
  • Under the BWW Stage Four “Extreme Drought Emergency” guidelines, customers are asked to only hand water established lawns and landscapes using a hose with a nozzle one day per week. Addresses ending in an even number shall water on Mondays, while addresses ending in an odd number shall water on Fridays.
  • No watering shall be conducted between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. on the allowable watering day.
  • No outside watering shall be conducted on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
  • New lawns and landscaping are exempt from the day of the week watering restrictions for the first 20 days after installation. After the 20th day, hand watering should be in accordance with the even and odd schedule and watering criteria with a hose.
  • The washing of personal vehicles shall be suspended unless conducted at a commercial car wash.
  • Fire Hydrants. Unless exempted, the use of fire hydrants for any purpose except for firefighting or flushing sewers for health protection purposes shall be suspended.
  • Golf courses that are supplied water by BWW are asked to restrict watering to tees and greens only on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays between the hours of 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. This does not apply to golf courses with private water sources.
  • Exemptions made for select commercial outdoor water users. (See Stage Four “Extreme Drought Emergency” Exemptions in DMP)
  • Athletic fields may be watered Wednesdays and Saturdays between 4 a.m. and 9 a.m. or when determined that said fields are hazardous to the health and safety of children and athletes, by being too hard by virtue of a lack of water.

More information here.

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