County commission encourages voluntary watering restrictions

The voluntary outdoor watering schedule introduced by county officials last summer is being encouraged again this year to counter anticipated shortages in Shelby County&8217;s water supply.

The plan, asking customers to limit outdoor watering to two days per week from June through September, was part of a consumer confidence report presented to the county commission Monday by Utilities Manager Charles Lay.

&8220;I can&8217;t believe that in March we&8217;re already looking to the sky and wishing it would rain,&8221; Lay said.

&8220;I don&8217;t think there&8217;s any doubt we will need voluntary watering restrictions again this year.&8221;

Addresses with even numbers are asked to water on Monday and Thursday, those with odd numbers on Tuesday and Friday. Officials request that no one water outside on Wednesday, Saturday or Sunday.

While concerns remain over the county&8217;s drinking water supply for this summer, completion of a new treatment plant near Wilsonville is expected to double treatment capacity by Spring 2008, Lay said.

DRINKING WATER MEETS STANDARD

Also included in the consumer confidence report was news that the county water system has reached compliance with drinking water standards.

Notifications mailed in January alerted customers that the county water supply had exceeded maximum levels of trihalomethanes, a byproduct of the treatment process.

The notification said the amount of contaminant was &8220;extremely small&8221; and was &8220;not an immediate risk&8221; to county water customers.

Still, customers were warned that long-term consumption of the contaminant could cause problems with the liver, kidneys or central nervous system and could increase the risk of cancer.

The report presented Monday announced compliance with the trihalomethanes standard in the first calendar quarter of 2007.

&8220;We have made a treatment process that has corrected this situation,&8221; the report reads