August 17, 2007
Area water officials say their crews are out in the community everyday. If you're caught ignoring water restrictions you might just get a verbal warning, but you could get slapped with a hefty fine, too.
At the Albemarle County Service Authority on Pantops, conserving water is at the forefront this week as the area goes under a drought warning.
"It's our role now to educate all our customers in the area," said Gary Fern, the Executive Director at the Albemarle County Service Authority.
The warning come with restrictions to reduce water usage. Service authority personnel are ready to enforce the rules.
"We have metered technicians who are out in the area all the time. We have maintenance people who are out all the time. All off the staff is usually driving around at some point in time," said Fern.
In the coming weeks, those employees out in the community will be keeping and eye on water usage and residents who are ignoring restrictions.
"Obviously if we find someone who is constantly not adhering to the rules then we have that ability to fine them," explained Fern.
And the fines aren't cheap. In the City of Charlottesville, residents can get slapped with a $250 dollar fine for the first offense. A secondary offense will set you back $500.
It's even pricier outside the city. In Albemarle County, the first fine is $500, but if residents get caught ignoring the water restrictions a second time the fine is $1,000.
"It's very serious," said Fern. "We want folks to conserve water. We're at that point where water is a non-renewable resource."