Local News

Nearly 400 Warnings Issued to Water Restriction Violators

Posted August 9, 2007
Updated August 10, 2007

— If it’s not your day to water your plants or wash your car, prepare for a warning. Public Utilities officials are out enforcing the water restrictions.

“You’re just as apt to see us out at 2 o’clock in the morning as you are at 2 o’clock in the afternoon,” said Don Casterlin, a code enforcement inspector.

You could call Casterlin the "water police." Every day, he rides up and down, in and out of neighborhoods, looking for violators. And now, with the recent triple-digit, overbearing heat driving consumption up, he's cracking down.

“People have got to understand that if we don’t do something soon, we are going to have to go to the next level of restrictions,” he said.

The Public Utilities Department already has the OK from the Raleigh City Council to go to Stage 1 restrictions if necessary. That would mean watering not three days a week, but one.

Department leaders say that is still a ways off. It all depends on the weather and if people continue to conserve.

Customers used more than 74 million gallons of water on Wednesday, up from an average of about 61 million.

“You never know what it could have been had we not had the current lawn irrigation restrictions in place. It could have been even higher,” said Dale Crisp, Raleigh utilities director.

And while officials say the record water use is because of the record heat, they'll still be watching, no matter where you live.

So far, code enforcement officers have issued 395 warning violations and 16 second-time violations that cost $50 apiece.


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  • loudnoises Aug 11, 2007


    I am aware of that facility and others in Egypt and Dubai and there's a few other smaller capacity ones. What was on my mind was equipment that can be delivered on the back of a tractor trailer or other flatbed. Sales and leasing of emergency distillation equipment is also part of the bigger picture. Providing a city like Raleigh with enough water is pretty far out of my ballpark right now. Hell it's in another state. Hopefully if the idea takes off and flies high enough, I'll consider it. But time to plant some seeds.

  • loudnoises Aug 11, 2007

    Steve, For such a scale (I'm looking at delivery and distribution that could be managed by say 5-10 people) I would use existing systems: rail and trucklines. Rail would be easy. Not the most cost effective but could circumvent the need, at least partially, for pipelines. You can haul a lot of water in those tankers.

    Second, for the short time, I'm planning more along the lines of small scale distillation and distro, online sales & delivery and maybe a few brick and mortar outlets to support desal sales and other related things. The gimmick is to produce drinking quality water that doesn't take a single drop away from the municpalities and sell it where ever. Some companies I've contacted also sell/lease portable units that could be set up at say, the state fair in booths or contracted with bottlers for sale in existing vending machines.

    It's been a number of years I've been considering it and people have told me that if I could pull it off, they're buying.

  • Steve Crisp Aug 11, 2007

    To loudnoises:

    "They build everything from emergency use to systems that pump over 2 million gallons a day. "

    You may want to check out the Shoaiba desalination plant in Saudi Arabia. That one facility pumps out 40 billion gallons of potable water per year and provides 50 percent of their water needs. That's over 100 million gallons per day, not two. The total cost of the project built in two stages was just over one billion dollars. Unless I have calculated wrongly, two of these plants located in eastern North Carolina could provide the total water needs to everyone from the Triangle east for decades to come. And they can be powered by wind turbines located off our coast or by natural gas, found in abundance on our own continental shelf, but where we are not allowed to get it because of eco-wackos.

    And we get it here via pipelines under I-40. I talked to Dale Crisp about this and he said that could not be done. The feds won't allow it. Well, who runs this government anyway?

  • loudnoises Aug 11, 2007

    Oh bob:

    "If/when desalinization and other technologies for producing potable water are in place, then maybe we can be less concerned about the rate at which we are consuming water."

    So I ask you, why are they not in place or under construction? Do you know?


    Steve, if you're still reading this, might be of use to know that desalination can be enormously expensive, but not necessarily. I've begun writing a business plan for V Cap $$ that addresses this: desalination. I've been talking to several manufacturers of desal equipment. They build everything from emergency use to systems that pump over 2 million gallons a day.

    The equipment is primarily a glorified series of high pressure pumps and filters. People on live-in boats typically have smaller units that run ~$1500 or so. Large ones for hotels are in the millions, but not anything a city couldn't afford, but will need more than a few. Maintenance costs are rather high, but affordable. Stay tuned.

  • WHAT THA Aug 11, 2007

    problem: running low on water due to decrease rainfall, is this the topic? advice by civil govt.: decrease consumption by reducing lawn/car washing. is this correct?
    is that all this article is saying.?
    by a posted amount, that is what alot of people seem to think.
    the other posts are an interesting insight into some facts and not so facts? i do not completely know. the frustration factor is not in a drought when directed toward governmental policies. it seems there is less discussion and more? fighting/accusations/triades/someone trys to bring in some possible background/possible factual statements in maybe getting people to agree to a solution(s). yet, i hear if your not with us your against us bunker mentality.
    for those bringing out the nuts and bolts of water supply by a govt. and/or engineering aspect viewpoint, the viewpoints are interesting.
    future article? from supply/rain/lakes/river/to use vs. future water supply/use in one article(s).?

  • fustigator69 Aug 10, 2007

    I wash my car on my lawn...2 birds one stone

  • weasleyes Aug 10, 2007

    A lot of people on these posts are knocking Steve Crisp. I have always found his posts to be well-researched, factual, and thought-provoking. Do you want government to totally rule your lives? He doesn't believe it should and neither do I. My wife's hobby is gardening, and we have spent a fortune on our yard (1 1/2 acres out of the 4 acres we own.) She said today, before the rain, that the grass crunched when she walked over it (Thank you, Lord!) We had a new well put in last year, and the plumbers told me that it was 175' deep and that water came within 5' of the top. I am sure that it is much lower now, but we still have plenty of water. Steve is trying to protect you from the bureaucrats. Listen to him! PS: I lived in Arizona for 18 months and know about Riparian rights, and where adequate water is a REAL problem! Get over it, and quit bashing Steve, who is only telling you the truth!

  • Steve Crisp Aug 10, 2007

    Oh bob:

    "If/when desalinization and other technologies for producing potable water are in place, then maybe we can be less concerned about the rate at which we are consuming water."

    So I ask you, why are they not in place or under construction? Do you know?

  • innocent bystander Aug 10, 2007

    "Conservatism" has absolutely nothing to do with ecological conservation. I've explained that to you before and you still can't quite manage to fathom the difference."

    SteveCrisp, you must be confusing me with someone else, because you have never "explained" anything to me on this or any other topic here. Save your condescending, smug remarks for those remaining few who are still fooled and intimidated by your claimed scientific analytic intellect. I certainly am not one.

    If/when desalinization and other technologies for producing potable water are in place, then maybe we can be less concerned about the rate at which we are consuming water. Until that happens, only a fool would argue against adopting the modest conservation measures that this area has implemented. That is my opinion.

  • Steve Crisp Aug 10, 2007

    "Mr Crisp...you are annoying"

    And I suspect that you feel that way simply because all these conservationists and environmentalists keep making claims without backing them up. It is bedause they can't. And you continue to prove that correct. Now, would you like to answer that other question?