Maumelle Water tries new restrictions to stop water shortage

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MAUMELLE, AR – Day after day, Roger Cornett works to keep his $75,000 dollar lawn looking lush and green.

“Your 110, 112 days, it kills everything,” he said.

Lucky for Cornett, he can water as much as he likes. His sprinkler system is hooked up to the river. But his neighbors aren’t.

“One of our neighbors came across the street and said it’s not really fair that you’re getting water from the river and we’re having to deal with the water shortage here,” said Cornett.

Maumelle Water currently restricts property owners from watering more than once a week, leaving lawns looking dry and dead.

“I hate to be the water police but that’s what we’re being forced to do,” said Maumelle Water General Manager Barry Heller.

He’s ‘forced’ because some property owners are using far more water than needed.

“Instead of watering for 2-3 hours in the morning, like they normally would or in the afternoon, they would turn their sprinklers on and essentially leave them on all day,” said Heller.

Despite the restrictions, on Monday, one neighborhood used more than six million gallons of water, alone. That’s full pumping capacity. But property owners say they pay for it so they should be allowed to use it.

“As much as they charge us, they need to keep up their equipment and try to understand all the pain people are going through,” said Cornett.

Maumelle Water will try something new, Friday, hoping this will work better. They’ll allow even street addresses to water on even numbered days and odd houses on odd days. But if you break the rules not only will this leave tanks empty in case of a fire but watering outside of your restrictions will come with a hefty fine or even being shut off completely.

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