Due to persistent dry conditions in the state of Georgia; the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) issued a Level 1 drought response for 53 counties in Georgia on September 9th, 2016. This response includes Newton and Walton Counties. The City of Social Circle asks its citizens follow EPD conservation measures to ensure future adequate water supplies for fire protection and health and hygiene. The following conservation measures are recommended.

Water Conservation: Tips for saving Water, Energy and Money

Excerpts republished from Conserve Water Georgia. These and more tips may be found by visiting: https://www3.epa.gov/watersense/

Inside your home

  • FIX THAT LEAK: Correct a leaky faucet or toilet and save money: A leaky faucet can result in more than 3,000 gallons of water lost a year while a leaky toilet can result in over 200 gallons a day or 73,050 gallons of water a year. To find out if you have a leaky toilet, place a drop of food coloring in the tank. If the color shows in the bowl without you flushing, you have a leak. Search online on how to repair a leaky sink or toilet or go to a hardware store to learn more.
  • GIVE YOUR SHOWER POWER: Taking a bath requires about 70 gallons of water. If you choose to take a bath, place a stopper in the drain immediately and adjust the temperature as you fill the tub. Another option is to take a 5-minute shower which only uses 10 to 25 gallons of water. You can purchase a water saving shower head to reduce the flow.
  • TURN IT OFF: We’ve all heard it, but turning the water off while brushing your teeth can save up to 8 gallons a day or 2,880 gallons a year.
  • MAKE IT A FULL LOAD: The average washing machine uses about 41 gallons of water per load. High efficiency machines use around 28 gallons per load. To save water, wash only full loads of laundry or use the appropriate load size selection on your machine. Washing only full loads reduces the number of loads you wash per week.
  • DON’T FLUSH MONEY DOWN THE DRAIN: If you own a toilet made before 1993, you are flushing too much money down the drain by using over 3.5 gallons per flush. New high-efficiency models use less than 1.3 gallons per flush. Installing one new toilet could save a family of four more than $90 per year on their water bill. This is over $2,000 for the lifetime of the toilet.

Outside your home

  • WATER EFFICIENTLY: Look at the plant to see if it shows signs of moisture stress. Use a drip irrigation or micro spray to save about 30% to 50% of the water and water at night or in early morning to avoid losing water to evaporation.
  • PUT THE RIGHT PLANTS IN THE RIGHT PLACES: Read the plant tag and ensure it is appropriate for the location you want to plant it. Consider your slope and drainage patterns.
  • ADD ORGANIC MATTER TO SOIL: Compost or mulch improves the ability of the soil to hold water and nutrients.
  • HARVEST WATER FOR IRRIGATION: Whether from an air-conditioner, dehumidifier, or rainfall, collect water in rain barrels or cisterns to use for irrigation.

A Level 1 Drought Response declaration means local water utilities in the affected counties will be required to begin a public information campaign to help citizens better understands drought, its impact on water supplies and the need for water conservation. The “Water Stewardship Act of 2010” remains in place statewide; which allows outdoor water use year round between 4 p.m. and 10 a.m. For additional information and guidelines on current drought conditions please access the following link: http://www.gmanet.com/News-GrantOpportunities/Breaking-News/Georgia-EPD-Declares-Level-1-Drought-Response,-Enc.aspx