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City emphasizes water conservation ordinance

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The city of Roswell is reminding residents of an ordinance to promote responsible water conservation, while preventing wasteful water use.

Business owners and other citizens should ensure water systems on their properties are functioning properly and are in good repair so water does not flow excessively into the streets and other areas where it is wasted.

City ordinance (Section 26-25) states “wasting of city water is contrary to the public health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the city of Roswell and is therefore declared to be a public nuisance,” according to a city of Roswell press release.

The ordinance makes it unlawful for anyone to allow city water to unnecessarily and excessively flow onto any highway, street, gutter or alley. This includes using a lawn sprinkler or landscape irrigation system in such a way that city water is regularly permitted to flow, run off or spray onto these prohibited areas.

Some exceptions include the following: high winds causing such flows, temporary pipeline failures (with efforts to rectify the malfunction), and water flow resulting from firefighting purposes or reasonable construction processes.

It is also unlawful to wash a vehicle with city water by use of a free-flowing hose. The ordinance requires the hose to be equipped with a shut-off nozzle to prevent excessive water from being lost.

Another violation of the ordinance is allowing any substantial plumbing leak to exist for more than 10 days after it is discovered. Such leaks must be repaired in a timely manner.

The ordinance establishes penalties a city water customer can be assessed if the customer permits city water to be wasted. Penalties, ranging from $25 to $100 for each violation, are placed as a surcharge on the water bill of a customer in violation of the water conservation ordinance.

Penalty amounts increase for each successive violation within a 30-day period, topping out at $100 for the fourth and each additional violation.

A separate violation is recorded each day a customer is found to be failing to adhere to the ordinance.