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Gwinnett County remains in a Level 2 Drought Response


Metro Atlanta has received over 32 inches of rain since the beginning of the year, which may leave some residents wondering why Gwinnett County is still in a Level 2 Drought Response. 

Although it has rained a lot in 2017, the rain deficit over the past year was just too great to overcome, especially in the area north of Lake Lanier that drains into the reservoir. At the height of the drought last year, the lake dropped to about 11 feet below full pool, prompting the Georgia Environmental Protection Division to declare a Level 2 Drought Response in November 2016.

The Lake Lanier reservoir, Gwinnett’s drinking water source, is usually recharged over the winter months by soaking rains. The rain received during the spring and summer typically comes from fast-moving storms that are not as effective at filling the lake as steady winter rain showers. While the wet spring and start of summer have helped, Lake Lanier still remains about 6 feet below full pool, the lowest level for this time of the year since 2012. 

The Level 2 Drought Response restricts a number of outdoor watering uses, including washing streets, sidewalks and driveways; decorative uses, such as fountains and waterfalls; non-commercial pressure washing; fundraising car washes; and non-commercial washing of vehicles.

For planting, growing, managing, or maintaining ground cover, trees, or shrubs, watering with an irrigation or sprinkler system is allowed on the following schedule:

  • Even numbered addresses (those ending in 0, 2, 4, 6 or 8) and sites with no numbered address, may only water on Wednesday and Saturday, before 10:00am and after 4:00pm.
  • Odd numbered addresses (those ending in 1, 3, 5, 7 or 9) may only water on Thursday and Sunday, before 10:00am and after 4:00pm.

            Additional information on restricted and allowed outdoor water use can be found at www.gwinnettH2O.com.

The Gwinnett County Department of Water Resources encourages residents to make water conservation a priority.  Individual actions can collectively add up to big water savings. Ways to save water include:

  • Check and repair leaks inside and outside the home.
  • Shorten showers and turn off water when shaving or brushing teeth.
  • Fill dishwashers and washing machines, making sure there is a full load every time.
  • Replace older toilets and shower heads with high efficiency models. If your home was built before 1993, you may qualify for a toilet rebate.
  • Choose efficient appliances. Look for EPA WaterSense and ENERGY STAR labeled products when shopping for new appliances and fixtures.

DWR provides two kits to help residents conserve water.  Both kits are available upon request at the DWR Customer Care counter at 684 Winder Highway in Lawrenceville, from 8:00am to 5:00pm, Monday through Friday.

  • Leak detection kits. Each kit contains toilet leak detection dye tablets, along with tips on locating and fixing minor leaks.
  • Low-flow home retrofit kits. Each kit contains a low-flow showerhead, faucet aerators, and toilet leak detection dye tablets.

For more information, including conservation tips and frequently asked questions regarding watering restrictions, please visit www.gwinnettH2O.com.

The Gwinnett County Department of Water Resources is a publicly-owned utility committed to providing superior water, wastewater, and stormwater services at an excellent value to residents and businesses. DWR is widely recognized for innovation and service excellence as well as stewardship of the environmental resources in Gwinnett County. For more information, visit www.gwinnettH2O.com.