Local News

Water Remains Scarce In Durham, Hillsborough

Posted December 4, 2001

— Water is so scarce in Durham and Hillsborough that residents may face major restrictions.

The Occoneechee Indians built a village where Hillsborough now stands because it was near the Eno River and a steady supply of water. Today, there is not enough water to go around and chances are the town will implement water restrictions.

"Just about every year, we go into water restrictions because we are on a low-flow stream -- the Eno River," said town engineer Kenneth Keel. "This time of year when it gets dry in the fall and early winter, the flow gets very low and we have to have restrictions, so there is still sufficient water flowing in the river."

The town is headed toward the next benchmark on the drought trail, Stage 4 restrictions.

"When the water level in Lake Orange gets below 70 inches below the spillway, then we automatically enter Stage 4. As of last week, we were around 65 to 66 inches," Keel said.

Stage 4 further restricts water usage. It does not allow any water usage for watering lawns, also it does not allow any car washing. It also requires local restaurants to serve on disposable plates and cups.

Durham also faces major water restrictions. On Monday, the City Council approved going to Stage 2 water conservation restrictions, which are all voluntary.

They include asking residents to cut back on watering yards and plants, reducing the use of dishwashers and washers, flushing their toilets fewer times and washing their cars less. Restaurants are being asked to stop serving water unless they are asked.

If the water problem in Durham persists, then Stage 3 would be imposed, which has mandatory restrictions.

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