BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The Birmingham Water Works Board has imposed restrictions on water use that affect how and when you can water your lawn and whether you can wash your car among other things.
If someone is caught using water in a way that has been restricted, that person could face a fine or citation.
When a drought emergency is declared, the Birmingham Water Works Board asks the local municipalities it serves to enforce the ordinances the cities have established with regard to the drought emergency restrictions.
“We ask customers to adhere to our drought management plan and follow what their local municipality’s ordinance will be. We’re not asking customers to turn customers in. We’re not saying that. We believe if they follow the ordinance and follow the drought management plan, that will be adequate,” said BWW Assistant General Manager Darryl Jones.
The specific penalties are determined city by city, so a violation means a citizen could face a fine or jail time from the city where they live. To be sure you’re complying with your city’s ordinances, check with your local city government.
“We have some great customers. We believe that they will listen to the things that we’ve recommended and they will accept those ordinances and this drought plan and help us not get to stage 5. But when will it rain again? We don’t know. We hope very soon,” said Jones.
In addition to the restrictions, the water board will also assess a surcharge for excessive water usage. During this Stage 4 Extreme Drought Emergency, the rate is 400% the normal rate. Those surcharges will start showing up on water bills after the December 4th meter readings.