Birmingham Water Works announces Stage 4 'Extreme Drought Emergency'

Published: Nov. 4, 2016 at 3:19 PM CDT|Updated: Nov. 4, 2016 at 5:16 PM CDT
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Source: WBRC video
Source: WBRC video

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - The Birmingham Water Works Board has announced their customers are under a Stage Four "Extreme Drought Emergency" as of Friday, Nov. 4.

"The extended dry weather, record high temperatures, and no measurable rain in the next 10 day forecast places the storage supply of the utility's Lake Purdy reservoir in a precarious position for the remainder of the year," the company said in a news release.

BWWB customers reduced their water from 115 million gallons per day to 105 million gallons per day since the implementation of the Stage Three Drought Warning on Oct. 19.

Under Stage Four, customers who use more than 8,977 gallons of water will be billed a surcharge.

"Under Stage Four guidelines, just like in Stage Three, the first 12 hundred cubic feet (ccf) or 8,977 gallons of water used by residential customers will not be subjected to any surcharges. All water consumption billed above 12 ccf will be charged the normal rate for all water used; however, they will be billed an additional surcharge of 400% per ccf on top of the normal rate for all water used above 12 ccf," the BWWB said.

The BWWB lists the following guidelines for Stage Four on their website:

  • The Birmingham Water Works Board will implement surcharges for excessive water use.
  • Municipalities requested to adopt and implement their Drought Ordinance.
  • Customers will be allowed to hand water using a hose with a nozzle one day per week.
  • No watering between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. on each allowable watering day, and no watering on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays.
  • New lawns and landscaping exempt from day of the week watering restrictions for the first 20 days after installation.
  • Athletic fields may be watered Wednesdays and Saturdays between 4 a.m. and 9 a.m. when determined that said fields are hazardous to the health and safety of children and athletes, by being too hard by virtue of a lack of water.
  • Golf courses to restrict watering to tees and greens only on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between the hours of 1 a.m. and 5 a.m.
  • Exemptions made for select commercial outdoor water users.

Read the full release from the water works board to see the current rates and drought surcharge rates:

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