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Ban on car washing lifted

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By Johnathan Ryan

The restrictions on Lancaster County water customers' use of the precious resource have been further loosened.

While the Catawba-Wateree Basin remains in Stage 3 restrictions due to the ongoing drought, the Catawba-Wateree Drought Management Group has informed its members, which include water suppliers in Lancaster County, that residential vehicle washing with a control nozzle, lawn watering and swimming pool filling is permitted one day a week.

The change goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. Saturday.

Customers with odd-numbered addresses can use water for these purposes on Saturdays, and those with even-numbered addresses can on Sundays.

The watering day begins at 12 a.m. and ends the following midnight.

The restriction on lawn watering was lifted three weeks ago as a result of improved drought indicators.

The water-use restrictions for users of public water utilities in the county had been in place since late last summer.

The restrictions did not apply to residents who use well water.

Lancaster County Water and Sewer District customers and those of the city of Lancaster and town of Kershaw are increasingly getting greater freedom to use water.

"Our situation is much improved but conservation is still critical," said Lancaster County Water and Sewer District Manager Mark Knight. "We remain in the same stage of drought, but improved lake levels, the drought monitor and stream flows are enough to ease restrictions for now."

But he said restrictions could be reinstated, depending on the weather.

Although Stage 3 restrictions are still necessary, Duke Energy indicated in a drought and water supply update to water suppliers that lake levels in the Catawba-Wateree basin are now in "relatively good" shape, stream flows have improved as has the status of the U.S. Drought Monitor, the three major indicators of drought.

Contact reporter Johnathan Ryan at jryan@thelancasternews.com (803) 416-8416