Obey watering laws

Thunderstorms were predicted for this weekend, which means local water gauges are likely to be fuller. But, as gardeners are all too aware, drought conditions linger.

We think Fort Mill town officials are justified in cracking down on those who attempt to flout water restrictions by watering at night. Town employees now will patrol at night and cite homeowners for watering on prohibited days.

The entire area remains in a Stage 3 drought. While residents may use handheld water containers and hoses with spray nozzles to water plants any day of the week, watering with sprinklers, irrigation systems and any other remote landscape watering system is allowed in Fort Mill only on Saturdays.

If a water customer violates the restrictions after receiving a warning, the violation will carry a $50 fine. A second offense after a warning will carry a $150 fine. Violations also may result in a water cutoff.

We're sure that the problem of night watering is not limited to Fort Mill. With similar restrictions in communities throughout York County, the temptation is high to try to sneak in a midnight watering when no one is looking.

But, as we've noted numerous times, we're all in this together. Watering during prohibited hours is like stealing water from your neighbor.

As of Friday, we still were about 10 inches below normal rainfall for this time of the year. We hope weekend storms have helped close the gap, but until restrictions are lifted, we urge residents to obey the law.