Outdoor watering banned

VINCENT &8212; The Vincent Water Board has banned all outdoor watering, the first Shelby County municipality to do so this summer.

Little rainfall and an almost dry spring &8212; the town&8217;s only source of drinking water &8212; forced the board to take action. The ban went into effect Monday, June 25.

First-time violators may be fined as much as $100. The water board has not discussed how to handle repeat offenders.

&8220;The spring has been steadily dropping and, with no rain in sight, this is an emergency,&8221; said water clerk Kathy Hassett.

The town&8217;s natural spring, which usually has an overflow of about 4 inches, was down Monday to only a half inch of water.

Vincent Water Board employees walked door-to-door Wednesday and Thursday telling their 935 customers not to water gardens and lawns.

&8220;I know they want pretty grass and flowers, but they definitely want drinking water,&8221; said Hassett, who recommends customers save bath or shower water to keep plants alive.

Last month the town&8217;s water bills included a special request asking residents to conserve water. However, Hassett said the lack of rain was too severe to combat with voluntary restrictions.

&8220;I hope citizens really understand how bad the situation is,&8221; she said.

In early May, the Calera Water Board implemented the county first&8217;s mandatory restrictions.

Calera banned all outside water usage on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Houses with even numbered addresses may water on Mondays and Thursdays from 6-8 a.m. or 6-8 p.m. Houses with odd numbered addresses are allowed to water during the same hours on Tuesday and Fridays.

Several other local water boards have voluntary restrictions in place. They include: Alabaster, Pelham, Shelby County Water Services, Westover and Wilsonville.

No restrictions are in place in Columbiana, Harpersville, Helena, Montevallo and Wilton