How Long Will Restrictions Be Lifted For Two Blount Cities?

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Blount County (WVLT) -- Water restrictions for Alcoa and Maryville have been lifted for the time being.

Since the recent rains began, the water flow on the Little River has more than tripled.

The easing of restrictions has given residents, businesses, and even the cities a chance to catch up.

"We're happy to announce today for both Alcoa and Maryville that we are able to lift our mandatory restrictions," said Pam Arnett, the City of Maryville’s public information officer.

Welcome relief for the town’s residents even if it's only temporary through the weekend.

"We're doing it that way because we just want to make sure that the flow stays as it is or close to that,” Arnett said.

"If the public can't use it, we can't use it," said Scotty Martin, a Maryville Utility crew supervisor.

Now city crews are playing catch up by flushing water hydrants which can slow down construction for contractors of new developments.

"They won't be able to do the rest of their work due to the water,” Martin said. “Joe has to test them and have them tested before the contractor can finish their work on them."

After a month, new lines are being worked on to help install hydrants and give better fire protection.

"Give them a little more flow through here,” Martin said, “and for us too. Some of these people don't have as much pressure. We're putting in a new line, give them more volume of water."

It's also helping contractors who have been questioning putting in new lawns.

"We have some builders that have called us and said ‘can we plant or not,’ and we have told them to hold off until this was over with for a bit," Arnett said.

But just a bit is a possibility of how long the ban removal may last.

Arnett says it's still a drought and it could continue.

"We've just had extremely dry conditions throughout the year,” she said. “We can't say the winter is going to bring a lot of rain so this won't happen again."

Arnett says they plan to take another look at the situation on Monday or Tuesday.

At that point in time, they plan to make a decision on whether to keep the restrictions lifted, or bring them back.

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