City calls for water restrictions

Published 12:05 am Friday, June 17, 2011

Winds and rains came through Covington County late Thursday afternoon. | Andrew Garner/ Star-News

A week after asking customers of the local water system to voluntarily not use water outdoors for three days, Mayor Earl Johnson yesterday afternoon asked residents to cooperate with an odd/even watering system.

“Due to extreme drought conditions in Andalusia and extraordinary pressure on our infrastructure, we ask that our citizens water lawns, wash cars or do any other outdoor watering on odd and even days that correspond with citizens’ last names,” Johnson said. “If one’s last name begins in the letter A through M, please limit all outdoor water use to even calendar days. If one’s last name begins with an N through Z, water only on odd days.”

In addition, the city is asking everyone refrain from outdoor water use on Sundays.

Johnson stressed that the restrictions are not meant to cause alarm.

“These measures are precautionary and not intended to alarm anyone, but if current conditions persist, we may face more serious water restrictions,” Johnson said.

“Andalusia is not running out of water, nor are we endangering our capacity to produce water. However, extreme drought and high temperatures have caused water usage to drastically increase which necessitates our planning for a prolonged period.”

The extreme use is overtaxing pumps  used to refill the wells, he said.

“If we burn up a pump, then we could have a real problem.”

Johnson said he is hopeful that Thursday afternoon’s thunderstorms signal a return to a more normal weather pattern. As of Monday, only an inch of rain had fallen in Andalusia or Opp this week.

“Hopefully, we will soon return to a more normal weather pattern and receive rain on a regular basis,” Johnson said. “Until then, we have no choice but to take precautions. We greatly appreciate everyone working together to ensure that our system remains functioning at optimum levels.“