Mandatory watering bans expand: Birmingham Water Works starts surcharges for violators

Little rainfall and high demand have forced the Birmingham Water Works to implement mandatory water restrictions. The water board serves thousands of homes in North Shelby County.

Under the &8220;Stage 3&8221; guidelines, customers can be fined for using more than the maximum of 8,977 gallons of water a month. Violators could be fined surcharges of up to 200 percent.

&8220;This is the best alternative for us to maintain our water resources and make it through the remainder of the summer,&8221; said Mac Underwood, MWW general manager. &8220;Voluntary measures were not enough to deal with this level of a drought.&8221;

Under the guidelines, customers are asked to hand water their lawn on an odd/even schedule. Residents with even house numbers should water only on Monday and Thursday. Residents with odd house numbers should water only on Tuesday and Friday.

All watering should be done between 10 p.m. and 10 a.m.

Restrictions for other Shelby County communities are listed below.

To avoid confusion, County Utilities Manager Charles Lay stresses that customers should follow guidelines of the water board they make payments to.

-ALABASTER: Has voluntary restrictions. Residents with house numbers that end in even numbers may water lawns Mondays and Thursdays, while odd-numbered addresses may water lawns Tuesdays and Fridays. Residents are asked not to water for more than two hours per day but may continue to wash their cars. Residents are asked to restrict watering on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Restrictions will be in place until Sept. 30.

-CALERA: Has mandatory restrictions. Residents with even house numbers may water lawns Mondays and Thursdays, while odd-numbered addresses may water lawns Tuesdays and Fridays. Both are asked to water between 6-8 a.m. or 6-8 p.m. Residents are restricted from watering Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Businesses that sell plants and flowers may water them once daily between 6-8 a.m. Violators can be fined up to $500.

-COLUMBIANA: Has no restrictions. Residents are encouraged to be conservation-minded.

-HARPERSVILLE: Has no restrictions. Residents are asked to avoid filling swimming pools, limit watering lawns until late evening for short periods of time, wash only full loads of clothes, wash vehicles at the local car wash, avoid using the dishwasher, do not allow children to play in the sprinklers and avoid letting water run for long periods of time.

-HELENA: Has no restrictions. Residents are asked to conserve water.

-MONTEVALLO: Has no restrictions. Residents are asked to water lawns and use sprinklers only at night.

-PELHAM: Has voluntary restrictions. Residents with house numbers that end in even numbers may water lawns Mondays and Thursdays, while odd-numbered addresses may water lawns Tuesdays and Fridays. Residents are asked not to water Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays.

-SHELBY COUNTY: (Chelsea, Eagle Point and Greystone): Has voluntary restrictions. Residents with house numbers that end in even numbers may water lawns Mondays and Thursdays, while odd-numbered addresses may water lawns Tuesdays and Fridays. Residents are asked not to water for more than two hours a day and are asked to do no watering Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Restrictions will be in place through Oct. 1.

-VINCENT: Has no restrictions. Residents are asked to conserve water and consult their water bills for any further information.

-WESTOVER:

Has voluntary restrictions. Residents with house numbers that end in even numbers may water lawns Mondays and Thursdays, while odd-numbered addresses may water lawns Tuesdays and Fridays. Residents are asked not to water for more than two hours a day and are asked to do no watering Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Restrictions will be in place until Oct. 1.

-WILSONVILLE: Has mandatory restrictions. Residents with even house numbers may water lawns Mondays and Thursdays, while odd-numbered addresses may water lawns Tuesdays and Fridays. Both are asked to water between 6-8 a.m. or 6-8 p.m. Residents are restricted from watering Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Restrictions will be in place until further notice.

-WILTON: Has no restrictions.

Samantha Gibbons contributed to this report