Water cutback effective

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Effective immediately, the Birmingham Water Works Board has downgraded its water use restrictions during the drought from Stage Three to Stage Two. That means an end to excessive, use surcharges and a lift of the ban on carwashes and related businesses. But the Water Board still requests voluntary limitation be exercised by its customers.

According to the National Weather Service, the months of September and October are climatologically the two driest of the year for the Midsouth. While the reduction in restrictions is great news, the Water Board continues to discourage any watering on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. The area is still 16 inches behind in rainfall this year.

The cooperative response of the public made the downgrade possible in the first place. Water consumption fell from 131 million gallons per day to 101 million gallons of water per day. Now Lake Purdy is even above its safe yield at 73- percent capacity.

However, officials say they don&8217;t want water use to exceed 114 million gallons per day for the rest of the year. They want customers to water lawns and gardens only between 10 p.m. and 10 a.m. with even addresses watering on Mondays and Thursdays and odd addresses watering on Tuesdays and Fridays.

We applaud the customers of the Birmingham Water Works Board for their outstanding performance to help us all get through drought conditions with enough water to fill our daily needs. We only hope that wise use of water will remain the norm until conditions return completely to normal.

The Birmingham Water Works Board serves more than 600,000 customers in Jefferson, Shelby, Blount, Walker and St. Clair counties.