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New Meters Could Cost Raleigh Water Customers

Posted July 23, 2007

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— In the face of drought conditions, Raleigh is requiring some water customers to buy a second meter that could cost them more than double to irrigate their lawns.

The regulation requires homeowners to install a second water meter on new lawn irrigation systems. The law applies to City of Raleigh water customers in Wake Forest, Garner, Rolesville, Knightdale, Wendell and Zebulon, as well as Raleigh.

Officials estimated that a second meter would increase the cost of a new irrigation system by $1,000.

The meter also allows the city to charge a higher rate for water used by the irrigation system.

"It's a deterrent. If you are going to use water for irrigation, it's going to cost you more," said Ed Buchan, a water conservation specialist with Raleigh's Public Utilities Department.

The second meter also gives the city the ability to shut off an irrigation system remotely.

However, the city has no immediate plans to cut off water or raise rates, said Buchan.

City officials said the new law is intended to help cut down violations of Raleigh's four-week-old mandatory water restrictions on irrigation systems.

Some homeowners said they are irked equally by the new law and by violators of the water restrictions.

"Well, of course, I do not like the government interferring with anything like that, but I think if someone is brazen enough to run the system when they shouldn't run it, it should be cut off," said Bill Boss, a Raleigh homeowner.

As of Monday morning, code enforcers had issued citations to 334 violators, including nine second-time violators who also got a $50 fine.

"It (the second meter) provides us and the homeowner the ability to see just how much water they are using for irrigation," said Buchan.

Also on Monday, the U.S. Drought Monitor continued to classify the Falls Lake Watershed as being in a moderate drought.

Falls Lake stands at 249.10 feet, 2.4 feet below the level of a full water supply, said city officials. Rainfall for the area is also 3.37 inches below normal for the year to date, according to the National Weather Service.

Boss said the condition of his lawn shows that drought can beat human efforts to lessen its effects.

"My sprinkler system is doing its job, but Mother Nature is doing a better job," said Boss.

33 Comments

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  • WhatYaGonnaDoNow Jul 24, 2007

    LOL, that was supposed to be nice and not night.

  • Waterrox Jul 24, 2007

    "no one ever sugessted we recharge with waste water dummy."

    Then what would you recharge with? Drinking water? That'd be a waste of water.

    So, what would you recharge with?????

    Impress me, you so called environmental engineer.

  • WhatYaGonnaDoNow Jul 24, 2007

    I don't understand why people try to fight Mother Nature anyway. Would you rather have water to drink for yourself and family or green grass? Some people just need to get a clue! Green grass is night but is not necessary at all.

  • bobbyj Jul 24, 2007

    Amen on the turf stuff. One inch of water per week. About 40% of the fert. Scotts tells you to put on the lawn, crest tells you to brush your teeth twice, they are selling product.

    no one ever sugessted we recharge with waste water dummy.

    As far as bottled water, take a look inside a water main the next time you see a water main break it will be the last time you ever want to bath let alone dring that stuff. RO's are great but need quite a bit of room and maintenance.

  • PackWillEat Jul 24, 2007

    Well the real problem to this issue is poor turf management. A lot of home owners believe the more they water their lawn the healthier it will look, and get all the oooh's and aaah's from the neighbors. The problem that arrises is this over watering stresses the turf out, depeates oxygen to the roots(stunts growth), causes shallow rooting(lessens drought tollerance, increases microbial activity(fungal out break), and to add another of many more that I can list, it causes leaching of pesticides and fertilizer. Sorry I have a degree in Turf Grass Management and some of the stuff that people approach me with is just asinine. I guess if I step outside the box it makes perfect since that there are 200lbs. two year old kids out there. More lawns have been loved to death then have been neglected to death. Read a book, there's tons of them or ask someone with a degree(not a lawnmower).

  • Nancy Jul 24, 2007

    "Love the one about we pay 4 dollars for bottle water..... when the city starts delivering water of the quality of the bottle water I'm in."

    You DO realize most bottled water is directly from municipal taps, nothing special about it.

    Furthermore, you can easily install an RO system under your kitchen sink and get the cleanest water for much less.

    But hey, keep paying premium for bottled municipal water with a name on the label...

  • Waterrox Jul 24, 2007

    "Ground water re-charge will be the next buzz phrase everyone will be talking about."

    Groundwater recharge using treated wastewater is illegal under NC law.

  • bobbyj Jul 24, 2007

    I believe drilling for a well for irrigation is a great idea however the well may cost $10,000 and I think there are some zoning issues that would determine if it is feasible. MAybe a well with Geo-thermal HVAC system is the way to go. Ground water re-charge wil be the next buzz phrase everyone will be talking about.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Jul 24, 2007

    How do I rat out a neighbor that waters their yard 7 days a week.

  • Hammerhead Jul 24, 2007

    Saying that it's your right to be a water glutton fits in nicely with the vanity and entitlement that goes along with putting a lawn above the big picture of water conservation.

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