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Stricter Watering Enforcement

By: Deborah Tuff
By: Deborah Tuff

Dothan city officials say they are cracking down on people who choose not to abide by the city's odd/even watering restrictions. In what city officials call a drought, repeat offenders will face a hefty fine or possible jail time.

There's little rain in the circle city and an April 1 decision by city commissioners asked residents to get on an odd-even system when it comes to watering their yards.

But several people aren't listening and they will have to pay the price.

The lack of seasonal rain combined with about 24 million gallons of water Dothan residents use daily, mixed with the lack of available ground water, caused Dothan city officials to issue a mandatory water restriction.

Problem is some people are not listening.

James Stewart, Dothan Water Distribution System Supervisor, says, “Maybe they think we're not serious about the water conservation or maybe they think we're not using as much water as we say we are.”

But to show residents just how serious they are city officials have become stricter.

Asking Dothan Utility workers to keep a special eye out for those watering on days they’re not supposed to.

“The fist time we give a warning, actually we give them multiple warnings then what happens. If we can't get voluntary compliance then the water to the home or business can be cut off and they'll be fined $100,” says City Manager Mike West.

Back in the 1980's there was a drought, which was one of the worse in Dothan history.

Still, since the implementation of the odd/even system in April there've been 125 violators. It hasn't happened yet, but officials say a repeat offender could be sent to jail for 30 days or fined $500.

Dothan's watering schedule is on Mondays no one is supposed to water.

Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, those with an odd numbered address are allowed to. Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, those with and even numbered address can water their yards.

There is one exception, however. With permission only, a resident who has just sodded their yard can water regularly up to 30 days.

Neighboring Enterprise is facing the same dilemma as Dothan, while the city of Ozark has enough ground water to help out two other cities.


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