Local News

Moore County Residents Asked To Cut Water Usage In Half

Posted August 13, 2002

— The drought situation has reached a crisis in parts of Moore County, where people have been asked to cut water use in half.

Since June, water customers in Southern Pines have reduced water use by one-third. Most area golf courses are not on the county water system. Instead they have ponds to draw water from, but some of those ponds are running low as well. Several employees are being forced to hand-water the dry spots on golf courses.

"Our water situation is very low. We have had probably 1-1/2 inches of rain in the last six weeks," said golf superintendent Matt Dobson.

On Friday,

Moore County

Public Utilities, along with the Village of Pinehurst and the Town of Southern Pines declared a water shortage emergency. Citizens are being asked to cut water use by 50 percent.

Restaurants that usually serve meals on dishes are using disposable plates, cups and utensils. Water is only served by request.

Crews are rejuvenating old wells that have not pumped water since the 1980s.

Southern Pines' main water supply, Drowning Creek, took a sharp dip last week, esposing intake pipes. If the creek went totally dry, officials said the town would have only five days of water in its reserve.

"The difficulty we face is there's no way to predict what the creek is going to do. It is at its historical low flow," said Kyle Sonnenberg, Southern Pines town manager.

The town hopes to have two old wells hooked into the water system early next week.

"If it can produce what they think it can produce, it could add another quarter million gallons a day," Sonnenberg said.

Sonnenberg said enforcement teams will be out looking for violators of its outdoor watering ban. No outside use of water is allowed except from collected rainwater or used water from inside a structure.

The town will be checking water bills and meters to make sure customers are doing their best to conserve indoors.

The town of Vass came within 2 1/2 hours of running out of water last week. The county delivered 72,000 gallons of water to replenish its supply.

Moore County is one of 71 counties that have implemented some form of mandatory water restrictions.

Water is also drying up in other communites in the state. The town of Shelby near Charlotte has only has a couple of weeks worth of water left. Leaders are holding an emergency meeting Monday night to talk about the town's options.

Statesville could move to Stage 5 restrictions as soon as Tuesday, which means water can only be used for drinking, cooking, bathing and public safety concerns such as fighting fires.

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