Sprinkler ban to be extended

The sprinkler ban that went into effect in Rock Hill and Tega Cay on Thursday is expected to extend to Fort Mill next month.

Meanwhile, Rock Hill officials say they're done with warnings -- only tickets will be issued from now on.

"We've pretty much quit issuing warnings," said Jimmy Bagley, Rock Hill's utilities director. "People have had time to get acclimated. Everything from here on out is pretty much a fined offense."

Fort Mill leaders will vote on a sprinkler ban at their next meeting on Nov. 12.

Rock Hill approved the measure this week.

"Uniformity of message is important," said town of Fort Mill engineer Paul Mitchell. "We're trying to follow Rock Hill just as quickly as we can."

Rock Hill supplies water to Fort Mill and much of York County.

Under the rule, all forms of automatic watering are banned. Only hand-watering of trees and shrubbery is allowed.

Violators face fines starting at $50. Tega Cay will mirror Rock Hill's ban.

A handful of tickets were issued Thursday in Rock Hill in connection with prior violations, but they weren't related to the sprinkler ban, Bagley said.

In nine months, the severity of the drought has exceeded that of the four-year drought from 1998 to 2002.