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DECATUR — Mandatory water restrictions begin today in Decatur and surrounding communities as officials look to limit the devastating effects of drought.

Long Creek and Dalton City officials announced Tuesday that their residents would be subject to the same restrictions as Mount Zion and Decatur citizens.

Residents may only water lawns, athletic fields and other vegetation on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. They are not to wash streets, sidewalks, driveways and other paved surfaces at any time. Restaurants are not allowed to serve water unless a customer specifically requests it. A full list of restrictions is available at

Decatur police Sgt. Greg Spain said the city encourages residents to contact police at 424-2711 if they observe someone violating the restrictions. Those who call to complain can remain anonymous.

Long Creek and Dalton City draw their water from wells, but Long Creek sometimes supplements its supply with water from Lake Decatur. During those times, it would be subject to the restrictions, anyway.

“Since it’s a dire situation with the drought and everything, we’re trying to get people to conserve as much as they can so we don’t run into a problem at some later date,” said Long Creek Office Manager Vickie Mendenhall.

Residents who observe violations in Long Creek can contact its township office at 864-4182. The Dalton City Water Department can be reached at 874-2725.

The restrictions also apply to Mount Zion residents because the village receives most of its water from Lake Decatur. Mount Zion Village Clerk Tammy Mense said the village police would issue warnings for first offenses and citations for a repeat violation.

The following mandatory water use restrictions, which begin today, apply to residents in Decatur, Mount Zion, Long Creek and Dalton City. The restrictions include:

- Watering lawns, golf courses, athletic fields and other vegetation will only be allowed on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

- Athletic fields may use water on three alternative days per seven-day period only after a written water use plan is approved by the director of water management.

- Washing or cleaning of streets, driveways, sidewalks, parking lots and other surfaces is prohibited unless approved in advance by Decatur Water Services Division for maintenance of public health and safety. Construction sites, commercial and municipal streets, sidewalk and parking lot cleaning operations and commercial power washing operations are exempt.

- Initial filling of outdoor swimming pools, outdoor hot tubs and ponds is prohibited. Topping off is allowed. Exterior washing of vehicles is prohibited except at commercial car washes.

- Serving water at restaurants is prohibited unless requested by the customer.

- Detectable water leaks must be repaired within 72 hours of discovery. If a leak is not repaired, water service could be shut off.

(This story was revised July 25 to reflect corrections in the police statement.)

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