Mandatory water restrictions ahead, and officials will enforce with fines

Posted at 9:24 PM, Aug 21, 2012
and last updated 2012-08-21 21:24:38-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)--Mandatory water restrictions will go into effect on Thursday for the cities of Colonial Heights and Petersburg, and the counties of Dinwiddie and Prince George.

Chesterfield County says it will continue with voluntary water restrictions for the time being.

The Appomattox Regional Water Authority, made up of representatives from all five localities, says a “Drought Warning” recently released by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, prompted the authority to request the mandatory restrictions beginning this week.

The authority says Lake Chesdin has reached dangerously low water levels, with just a 200-day supply left at current usage.

Red Fisher, an avid boater and fisherman on Lake Chesdin, says he’s happy to see the restrictions go into place.

“Something needs to be done,” says Fisher.

While voluntary water restrictions have been in place since June, The Appomattox Regional Water Authority says mandatory restrictions could conserve roughly 10% more of the water supply.

The restrictions include prohibiting refilling and use of decorative fountains and washing paved areas.  They also place limits on car washing and lawn watering.

Petersburg residents are being asked to limit lawn and landscaping watering to the hours of 8 pm-8 am.  The three other localities are requesting odd and even watering days based on address.

Restaurants are also being asked to conserve by only serving water when requested.

“We’ll try and do the same thing we always do with dishes,” adds Petersburg restaurant owner Charlie Rawlings.  “We’ll wait until we have a full load to do them.”  Rawlings is the owner of the popular Dixie restaurant on Sycamore Street.

All four jurisdictions say they plan to enforce the restrictions with fines that range from $50 to $400 for repeat offenders.

The Board of Supervisors in Chesterfield County could consider mandatory water restrictions at its next meeting Wednesday night.