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Northumberland County, VA
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of Northumberland County 7-14-2011. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Northumberland County, Virginia, Drought Management Ordinance."
The County Administrator is authorized to take special measures of prudent management to prevent a critical water shortage when a potential shortage and/or emergency condition exists in the water system(s), and to declare drought watch, drought warning or drought emergency conditions within the jurisdiction. Drought emergency conditions may also be declared by the jurisdiction in the event of equipment failure, contamination or other non-drought-related event that prevents short-term provision of adequate water supplies.
Section 15.2-924 of the Code of Virginia states that localities have the power to declare water supply emergency, and to restrict citizens' water use for the prevention of or the duration of a water supply emergency. When such restrictions are put into place, any local water supply system may apply to the State Water Control Board for assistance if they are able to provide evidence that they have exhausted their available means. Water can be bought from one water supplier for the benefit of another to alleviate local water shortages; in such cases, water will be paid for at the established rate of the supplier.
The Drought Contingency and Response Plan, included in the Northern Neck Regional Water Supply Plan, provides guidance for evaluating the potential for, or existence of, drought conditions and implementation of response and contingency activities. Upon a determination by the County Administrator of the existence of the following conditions, the County Administrator shall take the following actions:
A. 
Drought watch. Drought watch stage targets increased monitoring of drought conditions and increased public awareness of incipient drought conditions. Required actions under the drought watch include notifying the public of incipient drought via newspaper, public service announcements, notices with water bills, and to request voluntary reduction in nonessential water use.
B. 
Drought warning. Drought warning target is to increase public awareness, and reduce water withdrawals by 10% through voluntary water conservation. Required actions include notifying public of the drought warning and requesting voluntary reduction in the following nonessential water uses:
(1) 
Water to wash down streets, sidewalks, walkways, driveways, parking lots, service station aprons, tennis courts, other hard-surfaced areas, buildings, and structures, except as required for safety concerns;
(2) 
Water to wash automobiles, trucks, trailers, and any other type of mobile equipment, except where required to meet air quality standards;
(3) 
Watering of shrubbery, trees, lawns, grass, plants and other vegetation;
(4) 
Water from fire hydrants for construction purposes or any purpose other than fire suppression or other public emergency;
(5) 
Water to fill or refill swimming pools;
(6) 
Customers not served drinking water in restaurant unless requested;
(7) 
Urge customers to refrain from outdoor watering with sprinklers or irrigation systems between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.;
(8) 
Implement alternate-day use schedules based on last digit of residential or commercial address; odd-number addresses, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday; even-number addresses, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday; watering by hand (with cans, wands, hand-held hoses) is allowed any day of the week;
(9) 
The drought warning stage implements higher water rates for excess use. Normal water rates apply for consumption up to 12,000 gallons per billing cycle. Rates are increased by 15% for consumption above 12,000 gallons per billing cycle.
C. 
Drought emergency. Drought emergency target is to increase public awareness, and reduce water withdrawals by 15%. Required actions include notifying public of the drought emergency and implementing mandatory reduction in the following nonessential water uses:
(1) 
Water to wash down streets, sidewalks, walkways, driveways, parking lots, service station aprons, tennis courts, other hard-surfaced areas, buildings, and structures, except as required for safety concerns;
(2) 
Water to wash automobiles, trucks, trailers, and any other type of mobile equipment, except where required to meet air quality standards;
(3) 
Watering of shrubbery, trees, lawns, grass, plants and other vegetation;
(4) 
Water from fire hydrants for construction purposes or any purpose other than fire suppression or other public emergency;
(5) 
Water to fill or refill swimming pool:
(6) 
Customers not served drinking water in restaurant unless requested;
(7) 
Require customers to refrain from outdoor watering with sprinklers or irrigation systems between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.;
(8) 
Implement alternate-day use schedules based on last digit of residential or commercial address, odd-number addresses, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday; even-number addresses, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday; watering by hand (with cans, wands, hand-held hoses) is allowed any day of the week;
(9) 
The drought emergency stage implements higher water rates for excess use. Normal rates are increased by 15% for consumption up to 12,000 gallons per billing cycle. Normal rates are increased by 30% for consumption above 12,000 gallons per billing cycle.
Violations of this chapter when a drought emergency stage is declared may result in penalties being assessed to the customer:
A. 
First offense: written warning.
B. 
Second offense: a fine of $50.
C. 
Third offense: a fine of $100.
D. 
Fourth offense: a fine of $250 and water service suspension.
Upon implementation of a drought emergency stage (above), the County Administrator shall appoint an appeals board consisting of three representatives from the jurisdiction under which the drought emergency is declared. The jurisdiction attorney or designee shall serve as legal counsel to the appeals board. The appeals board shall be empowered to review customer applications for exemptions from the provisions of the mandatory conservation on a case-by-case basis and, if warranted, to make equitable adjustments to such provisions. The board shall also be empowered to establish regulations governing the granting of temporary exemptions applicable to all or some of the uses of the water supply as set forth. The board shall, in deciding applications, balance economic and other hardships to the applicant resulting from the imposition of water use restrictions or allocations against the individual and cumulative impacts to the water supply resulting from the granting of the exemptions. Individual applications shall be decided by the board within two weeks of receipt of an application in proper form and containing all necessary information.
A. 
Rescinding orders. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the County Administrator from rescinding any orders issued hereunder when the conditions creating the need for such orders have abated.