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County issues fines, expands
outdoor watering restrictions

(June 14) Cobb County has issued its first outdoor water use fines and will now enforce additional "odd-even day" restrictions.

The additional restriction mandated by the Environmental Protection Division means those living in even numbered homes will only be allowed to use water outside on even-numbered days.

Those living in odd-numbered homes will only be able to water on odd-numbered days.

Officials stress that the 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. outdoor water use ban will remain in effect for all residents, regardless of their address. The additional guidelines went into effect for the metro Atlanta area yesterday.

Click for details on latest water restrictions

Cobb County Water System Customer Service Manager Herb Richardson said the "odd-even" system was needed since the time restrictions were causing residents to all use the water system at the same times in the morning. The heavy use was causing extremely low water levels at those times.

"We had to find a way to balance things out," Richardson said.

On Friday, Cobb County officials issued their first $500 fine against a resident for multiple violations of the ban.

The county issues warnings for a first offense and the second time results in a $500 fine. Nonpayment of the fine will lead to officials cutting off the offender's water. A Marietta Country Club neighborhood resident was first warned in May for using an irrigation system for her lawn during the ban times.

As county officials tallied the warnings in a database designed to track multiple offenders, she received a another citation for the same offense Friday evening.

"It's an unfortunate situation," Richardson said, noting a letter concerning the $500 fine was sent to the woman. "She knows it will be on her next water bill."

The second fine was levied against Walton Green Apartments at 50 Walton Green Way in Kennesaw on Tuesday. The apartment complex was warned on June 1 about running an irrigation system at its front entrance. The second violation occurred Tuesday.

The county issued 1,687 warnings for first offenses since the beginning of May when enforcement of the water use ban was increased.

Officials noted that it is not necessary to water lawns every day. The average lawn only requires one inch of water every seven to 10 days.

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