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Mandatory Watering Limits Come to Johnston County

Posted May 29, 2007

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— Johnston County took steps Tuesday to protect its water supply for the future, putting all residential and commercial water customers are under mandatory restrictions until further notice.

The county imposed the rule for its four municipal and two commercial customers as a brief shower in places served as more of a reminder of what we have not had than as a help for a rainfall deficit that is running about 2 inches for May and 4 inches for 2007 in the Triangle.

Water taps in Johnston County taps are fed by the Neuse River, and the sun is drying up the water supply day after blistering day, county officials said. So, beginning immediately, a house or business street number will determine when lawns and plants can be watered.

“My grass is probably going to look like some of my neighbors’ by the time it's all said and done,” David Eckstein said. He had watered every day.

“The Neuse River's got plenty of water in it. I don't see why now is going to affect.... It seems like we always catch up at the end of year, with rain anyway,” Eckstein said.

The plan announced Tuesday is for businesses and residences with addresses ending in odd numbers to water on odd-numbered days Tuesdays through Sundays and even-numbered properties on even days. The county says no one may water on Mondays.

There are no penalties, for now. The county is focused non cutting daily usage now so the water that flows now will continue to flow in the future.

“We average about 8.5 million gallons per day, but we're peaking a little over 10 million gallons per day. So, we're getting in a situation with those peaks. It gets difficult,” County Manager Rick Hester said.

The restrictions affect the Clayton, Kenly, Four Oaks and Princeton municipal systems that get their water from the county as well as private customers served by Aqua NC and Carolina Water Service.

Hester noted that the restrictions have nothing to do with a local fire department refilling local ponds last week with county water. The shortage, he said, had been a long time coming.

"We can say, 'Please don't water your lawns,' (but) some people are still going to do it," County Manager Rick Hester said. "So, let's come up with a method where we can feel like we're partnering with the residents and see if we can all work together through this."

Of 585 water systems in the state, 41 have restrictions. Mandatory odd-even watering in Raleigh takes effect July 2.


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  • sam1174 May 30, 2007

    This is silly. Johnston County gets its water directly from the Neuse River. We do not have a reservoir. We are not saving any water by using less. Any water we don't use now simply flows downstream. So seriously, how will this save us any water?

  • eli May 30, 2007

    They also neglected to mention the hundreds of thousands of gallons of water that was wasted/needed to put out the Boyette Stump Dump fire... any wonder it is in the Archers Lodge Area?

  • kaykay12 May 30, 2007

    i think wral is only telling half the story.. they neglect to mention the archer's lodge incident

    (sorry for the double post)

  • kaykay12 May 30, 2007

    it wouldnt be this bad if the archer's lodge fire dept didnt steal 400,000 gallons!

  • caniacfan May 30, 2007

    Amen tarheel22!!!!!!

  • ladyblue May 30, 2007

    We had no previous warning, just oopps got to stop watering. I still believe that if that farm filled up three ponds on his land, it had something to do with the water shortage so quickly upon us with no warning.

  • packandcanesfan May 30, 2007

    "You can say it is development and population, but the fact remains that no precipitation is falling out of the sky."


    It all goes hand in hand in my opinion. If you have more and more people using the same water source, eventually, the tap will run dry. Adding in no rain just worsens that problem. I feel really bad for anyone trying to maintain a well in Johnston County right now.

  • ecumuse May 30, 2007

    You can talk about who does what with water and when, but the real problem is global warming. In 2003, NC was 12th in CO2 emissions in the country. I can only imagine what it is now with all the growth. It isn't a coincidence that we have had drought conditions in many parts of our state for the last several years. It is extremely bad in the western part of the state. I grew up here, and I never remember having water restrictions until the last few years. You can say it is development and population, but the fact remains that no precipitation is falling out of the sky. Think about the bigger picture. I expect we will all see worse drought conditions coming in the longterm as well. Hopefully, this gives people something to think about as they crank up the Tahoe or the Hummer.

  • This is not a Chatroom People May 30, 2007

    History tells me that Poor people like you ... stay poor and people like me get richer Historian!!

  • This is not a Chatroom People May 30, 2007

    I am charging $10 for bottled water if any of you poor folks need Water ..... ..$50 for a gallon.

    So lets line you people up like some Hurricane just destroyed your town and you are thirsty ... so I can take pictures!!