Enquirer Herald

Drought restrictions eased for Clover residents

Clover residents will now be able to water their lawns once a week, fill fountains and pools and wash their cars using an automatic shut-off hose.

The Clover town council voted Thursday to temporarily ease water restrictions. The move came days after the town's water supplier, Gastonia, similarly eased their restrictions.

Clover is the first town in York County to ease water restrictions that were implemented during last year's drought.

"We're kind of in a unique situation because we are in the state of South Carolina and we need to recognize the restrictions that are going on here, but at the same time we're getting our water from North Carolina," said Allison Harvey, town administrator. "It seems to me -- and apparently the council agreed -- that if Gastonia is comfortable with the relaxation of the restriction then we will be too."

Although looser, the restrictions still fall within the Stage 3 category that most of the county is in.

Residents who live east of U.S. 321 can water their lawns between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m. Mondays and those who live west of U.S. 321 can water on Thursdays. There are no time limits for when to wash vehicles or fill fountains and pools, however residents are still prohibited from washing down sidewalks, driveways or buildings, flushing gutters and obtaining water from fire hydrants.

The temporary easement of restrictions lasts until May 31.

"If we can conserve water in other ways, it may lead the way to continue to allow these temporary relaxations of the prohibitions," Harvey said.

Despite increased water levels, the Catawba-Wateree Drought Management Advisory Group has recommended the region continue Stage 3 water restrictions.

"It's obvious to the community that we've had some nice rainfall, and the area's lake levels are at or above normal levels for this time of year," said Ed Bruce CW-DMAG Coordinator in a press release. "But what's less obvious, and just as important to these lake levels is how much less water is being removed compared to normal conditions."

Since water restrictions were implemented last fall, public water consumption has been reduced by 15 to 30 percent, the release said. Duke Energy has also limited the amount of water they are releasing downstream from their dams.

Although groundwater levels have stopped decreasing they have not recovered what they lost, the release notes.

Harvey said Clover had not received any information recommending the restrictions not be relaxed before the vote.

In Rock Hill, the city that supplies water to most of York County, restrictions will remain the same.