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Indianapolis Calling For Mandatory Water Restrictions

Last updated on Thursday, July 12, 2012

(INDIANAPOLIS) - With hot, dry weather continuing in central Indiana, Citizens Water is calling for mandatory water restrictions.

The company has asked Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard to declare a Water Shortage Warning in Marion County, a move that would pave the way for mandatory water usage restrictions that would include a ban on watering lawns.

The restrictions are expected to be implemented on Friday, July 13. They would cover all areas of Marion County except Lawrence and Speedway, which have their own water systems. For the last month, the company has called for customers to stop watering their lawns voluntarily.

Citizens Water says the mandatory restrictions are needed to maintain water pressure and keep an adequate supply for customers throughout the summer. Drought conditions and high water usage are sapping reserves and putting stress on the entire system.

Once the ban goes into effect, the following actions are unlawful: Sprinkling, watering or irrigating grass, washing cars, trucks, trailers, mobile homes, etc., except as required by applicable laws for health or safety reasons

Using water to clean sidewalks, driveways, paved areas, structures, buildings or other outdoor surfaces.

Filling empty swimming pools

Installing new landscaping or new lawn by using sod until return to normal conditions are declared by the mayor

Using hydrants except for fire prevention or as otherwise directed by Citizens Energy Group

Operating water fountains that are non-recycling


Vegetable gardens and flowers may be watered every other day by container or handheld hose with a shutoff nozzle; trees can be watered once a week.


Nurseries, provided water use is limited to the amount essential to preserve inventories

Automatic commercial car washes, provided a majority of the water used is recycled

Manual commercial car washes, provided only a handheld hose equipped with a shutoff nozzle is utilized

Golf courses, provided tee boxes and greens are watered only on an every other day schedule that begins on Monday of each week and fairways are watered only once per week on Thursday

Parks, any watering of property owned or controlled by the department of parks and recreation as directed by the mayor or mayor's designee where such watering is necessary or appropriate for asset preservation


Each customer shall be responsible for compliance with the ordinance with respect to the premises where the customer receives water service. If the identity of the water user cannot be ascertained, the customer with service at that address shall be liable for violations that occur on such premises.

* First violation in twelve-month period - $100

* Second violation in twelve-month period - $250

* Third violation in twelve-month period - not less than $500

* Fourth violation in twelve-month period - up to $2500 per day per violation

Under a City ordinance, The Department of Code Enforcement is charged with making sure the ban is followed.

"The Department of Code Enforcement is going to be working with Citizens to identify the highest volume users and highest volume areas," said Kate Johnson, spokeswoman for the Department of Code Enforcement. "It'll probably be a lot of commercial and industrial type users that we'll be focusing on."

Inspectors will check up on those customers and cite anyone who is violating the ban.

"A lot of times it takes that.. citation in order to, you know, get someone to stop," said Johnson.

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