Originally created 07/09/98

Thirsty tree



JACKSON -- Nobody has fussed yet about the voluntary outdoor watering ban in Jackson, an official at Jackson Public Works Commission said Wednesday.

The ban was issued Tuesday and the agency is still getting the word out to residents, said Vickie Brinkley, clerk of the commission.

"Some of them have been complying with it. We just have to make them understand," she said.

The commission asked all its customers with odd-numbered addresses to water outdoor plants only on odd-numbered days and those with even-numbered addresses to water on even days.

The commission hasn't had any water supply or equipment problems yet, and the restriction is intended to keep it that way, Ms. Brinkley said. It currently pumps about a million gallons a day, running the pumps for about 20 hours daily.

"We're doing it so the pumps don't run as long. We don't have water problems like they do in Augusta," Ms. Brinkley said.

The restriction will be in effect until further notice. It may be upgraded from voluntary to mandatory, pending a recommendation by the state Department of Health and Environmental Control.

Officials from the Aiken Public Works have said the town of Aiken probably won't need to tap into its water reserves, and barring a mechanical malfunction, the water supply should hold.

Drought conditions have kept the state under an outdoor fire ban, meaning state residents can face fines and jail time for lighting outdoor fires. June's rainfall was barely two-thirds of the normal 4.8 inches, which was a factor in issuing the ban.