Limit on watering tightens for some

Georgia's strictest limits on outdoor watering were reimposed Tuesday in a 55-county region that narrowly excludes Richmond and Columbia counties.

Under an order issued by Georgia Environmental Protection Division Director Carol Couch, the area facing the most severe drought includes Lincoln and Wilkes counties in east Georgia and extends north and west to encompass metro Atlanta and much of the upper Savannah River Basin.

Those counties, designated as suffering from a Level 4 drought, face an array of restrictions that include hand watering no more than 25 minutes a day on an even-odd schedule.

This year, Dr. Couch added a provision to allow the use of soaker hoses and drip irrigation systems three days a week.

Augusta and Columbia County will remain in a Level 2 drought designation, meaning residents will continue to follow the same rules as last summer: Watering is allowed from midnight to 10 a.m. on an even-odd schedule.

Reach Rob Pavey at 868-1222, ext. 119, or rob.pavey@augustachronicle.com.