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Raleigh Puts Clamp on Lawn Watering With Rules, Penalties

Posted July 2, 2007

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— For some people who get their water from the Raleigh city system, it's too late. The warning is at the door, and fines could follow.

For everyone, mandatory watering restrictions took effect Monday, and inspectors were out, searching for people ignoring the new rules. Monday is a no-watering day for everyone.

In Rocky Mount, the city issued a call for voluntary restrictions because of the dropping level of the city's Tar River Reservoir.

Raleigh's restrictions impact all customers served by the city, which includes Garner, Knightdale, Rolesville, Wake Forest, Wendell and Zebulon.

Odd-numbered addresses can water on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Even-numbered addresses can let it flow on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Those apply to mechanical systems, such as sprinklers. Hand watering – holding the hose yourself – is OK any time.

City Code Inspector Don Casterlin gave a warning to an owner of a new house with fresh sod.

“Because they have new sod down, they could have applied for a landscape establishment permit, that gives them 45 days to water their lawn every day to establish it,” Casterlin said.

It was not just when the owner was watering, however. It was where.

“The other big concern that we have is that they're basically watering the driveway here,” Casterlin said. If you've got to water, we understand, but please try to just water the lawn, not the driveway because it really doesn't do anything any good.”

Casterlin wrote 25 warnings Monday, including one to homeowner Kenny Larry.

“The neighbors run the water all day out here because of all the new houses. I kind of figured something wasn't right because there was no other water running today, but I didn't get any notice in the mail or anything, so luckily it's just a warning this time.”

The city will warn first time violators. A second violation costs $50. No. 3 costs $200. The fourth time, the city will shut off your water.

Right now, there are no restrictions on washing your car, but there could be if the city goes to the next level of restrictions. Whether that happens depends on the water level in Falls Lake, the city’s primary water source.


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  • none123 Jul 3, 2007

    Now if we could enforce real laws with this kind of enforcement then maybe we could lower the crime rate.

  • innocent bystander Jul 3, 2007

    gopanthers, for a nice summer lawn why don't you look into planting some warm-season, drought resistant grass instead? Bermudagrass thrives in hot, dry weather. It will go dormant in the winter, but you can either overseed with some cheap annual rye to keep it green year round, or just learn to appreciate the natural seasonal variation in your lawn.

  • gopanthers Jul 3, 2007

    I know I won't be able to afford it - but I'm going to look into that new product they have out there now. A fake lawn. Suppose to look and feel real. No watering or mowing. Hmmmmm that brings up a question. Wonder if you would have to power wash once a year. LOL - I read somewhere that some Golf Courses across the country are starting to use it. I'd just use it on the front yard if I had it and let the back yard turn to a lovely shade of brown. Maybe plant some catus to.

  • Refiman2 Jul 3, 2007

    Maybe Raleigh should curb growth until we can replace the current city council with one that will actually do something about it, like build a new resevoir. last 1 built was 25 years ago, Jordan lake. It was suuposed to help, in conection with Falls lake to meet our water needs for 25 years, which it has. Problem is that noone has even thought about new sources of water since then, but they crtainly have opened the door to growth. Even illegals are welcome here, that is if they listen to the government. the illegals should have to listen to the people who say they are not welcome here or anywhere else in this country.....................................................

  • gopanthers Jul 3, 2007

    With Mayo and salt and pepper. Mouth is watering right now.

  • WardofTheState Jul 3, 2007

    Gopanthers -

    Thanks for your compliment. I needed it after yesterday's clobbering in the even/odd discussion.

    I owe you a home-grown tomato - next time I see you...

  • innocent bystander Jul 3, 2007

    When I see someone who has a nice green lawn during a drought, the first thought that comes to my mind is, "what kind of selfish moron lives there?"

    An established, well-cared for lawn will rarely "die" from the sorts of droughts that we have around here. It will go dormant and turn brown without adequate water, but it will green up right away as soon as it rains. If you want your lawn to look nice and green during a drought then get some green sunglasses to admire it. It will look just fine.

  • aquamama Jul 3, 2007

    LOL, Scissors!
    My neighbor was watering his lawn yesterday. I went over to remind him of the new restrictions, but he didn't answer his door. Funny thing, though, his water was shut off a minute later.

  • Is it Friday yet Jul 3, 2007

    "put a brick in the toliet tank"

    I usually do that as well after a big breakfast.

  • gopanthers Jul 3, 2007

    @27228 - Thank you for being so bold to say something. I thought the same thing last night but just let it go.