Drought forces mandatory water restrictions

Drought forces mandatory water restrictions (Image 1)

While a handful of Middle Tennessee water districts have issued voluntary restrictions, some Williamson County residents have been under a mandatory restriction for more than a week.

“People here have been doing alright with it,” said Milcrofton Water Utility District General Manager Mike Jones.

The main part of the restriction limits irrigation or watering lawns to twice per week instead of unlimited daily usage for Milcrofton customers.

Jones said the water utility had a malfunction at a water transfer station in mid-June which reduced levels before the drought kicked in a week later, forcing the mandatory restrictions.  

“We did not even have voluntary restrictions, we went right to mandatory limits,” Jones said. “The irrigation systems, to keep the grass green as carpet that is what was drawing on our supply too much.”

The restrictions affect the district's 15,000 water users who are primarily in southeastern Williamson County, including parts of Franklin located east of Interstate 65.

Nashville's News 2 spoke with landscape owner Mark Bennett who said he is struggling to keep his clients' yards green and their gardens blooming due to the restrictions.

“It's not good,” said Bennett as he looked over lawns parched brown in a new subdivision just off Arno Road. “We need rain.”

“I have never seen it this bad this early, usually its at the end [of summer] and we can call it an early fall,” added Bennett who owns Green Side Up landscaping.

Other areas across Middle Tennessee, including utilities Stewart County has also enforced mandatory water restrictions.

Lebanon and parts of Nashville and Williamson County issued voluntary restrictions in recent days.

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