Decatur Adopts State-Mandated Water Ordinance

I’ll try to get my facts a bit straighter in this post than the last!

At last night’s Decatur City Commission meeting, the commission approved a new water ordinance that will now be enforced by city employees.

The new ordinance specifically bans outdoor watering from 10a-4p year-round and requires new construction to be outfitted with high efficiency toilets, showerheads and faucets beginning in 2012.

10 thoughts on “Decatur Adopts State-Mandated Water Ordinance”

  1. I’ve never quite understood why watering is banned during the daytime. Is it because the water table is lower during the day? Or that the sun evaporates the water (thus making the watering less efficient)? I have no problem following the new ordinance; I’m just curious about the daytime water ban.

    1. I believe it’s an efficiency thing, as you’ve suggested. First, because daytime is peak demand so no use overtaxing the system; second, because daytime watering is less efficient for the evaporation reason you mention; and third, I’m guessing, is the idea that watering during the day is the most convenient time, which induces additional use. Since night watering is more of a pain (either in terms of doing it or managing a timer), it may cut down on unnecessary use.

  2. So, no running through the sprinkler on a hot summer afternoon? Or is there an exception for recreational use?

  3. I believe that there is also an exception for food gardens. Grow tomatoes, and you can water them all you want.

    Also, you get water barrels and you can water when you want.

    I believe that any house sold in DeKalb has to have a high-efficiency toilet, but that the rebate program ran out of money for Decatur. Money for other parts of the county still exists. Not a lot of sense there. What does it matter where the efficient toilets are, as long as somebody in the county is using them?

  4. Seems the new construction requirement is a bit redundant since Dekalb already requires it in homes sold since some time in the past.

  5. Unincorporated Dekalb County has rules different from the City of Decatur regarding the retrofit of toilets/fixtures (unless something has changed in the last year). When I sold my home in unincorporated Dekalb, I retrofitted all commodes/faucets/showers with low-flow. (I think it is not a “requirement” for the seller, but since verification must be made that all fixtures are low-flow in order to sell/establish new water service, it certainly is most conducive to moving the sale along). Anyway, when I inquired as to whether or not the seller of the house we bought INSIDE the city limits was going to change out the “old” commodes, etc., I was informed that it is NOT a requirement inside the City of Decatur to retrofit with low-flow (which seems VERY weird to me). It seems that I did confirm this on-line or with the county (can’t remember who gave confirmation).

    1. Seconding this, because I also thought it was strange. We just bought a house inside the city limits and when we went to establish water service found that it’s location inside an “incorporated area” meant that we were not required to produce an statement from a home inspector stating that our toilets were all low-flow, etc. If the house were in unincorporated DeKalb we would have been.

      1. Make that “establish water service in our name.” House is not new construction, so I guess we could have kept any water-hogging toilets we wanted as long as they were working?

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