Recent thunderstorms have provided some relief to lawns and landscaping, but the rain hasn’t done enough to bring the area out of its drought. In fact, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources’ Drought Response Committee moved Beaufort and Jasper counties to moderate drought.
Much of South Carolina is listed in an “extreme or severe” drought. “BJWSA currently is not facing any water shortages or mandatory restrictions, so we are in better shape than many other counties in the state. We just want everyone to be aware that we are in a drought and ask that they voluntarily use water wisely, especially when irrigating their landscaping,” said Dean Moss, General Manager of BJWSA. Most lawns need from 1 to 1-1/2 inches of water per week including rain water.
BJWSA asks that all residents, not just their customers, use water wisely when irrigating their lawns. Water being drawn by irrigation wells from the Floridan Aquifer can cause the water table to drop resulting in poor water quality or dry wells for residents who depend on wells for drinking water. The recharge area for the Floridan Aquifer is south of Columbia where rain fall has been scarce. Also, irrigating with water from shallow wells can take much needed water away from trees and other plant material. Such conditions can cause an increase in fire susceptibility.
“What we want Beaufort and Jasper County residents to understand is that our water, both in the Savannah River and in the ground, comes from the upper and middle parts of the state. What happens north of us affects our water levels tremendously,” said Moss. BJWSA continues to monitor weather conditions throughout the state.
July is National Irrigation Month and BJWSA reports that irrigation is the number one cause of high water demands on the drinking water systems, especially in southern Beaufort County, sometimes causing low water pressure for entire neighborhoods. “Automatic sprinklers offer convenience in protecting a homeowner’s landscape investment. However, most homeowners tend to overwater their lawn or waste water through inefficient habits. Having enough water pressure in the system is always a concern for BJWSA because of the need for fire protection,” said Moss. Adopting water-wise habits is essential for maintaining and extending the community’s water supply, especially during peak use.
Water-wise habits will help conserve water. Plus, reducing your consumption will help reduce your water bill. Visit conservation tip on this website or www.h2ouse.org for water saving tips.