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Raleigh Residents Fined for Water Misuse

Posted September 5, 2007

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— In just one week, the city of Raleigh has issued 100 notices letting people know they violated water restriction rules and will be fined.

"I made her aware of the new guidelines, which she says she wasn't aware of, so she turned it (her water) off," said code enforcement officer Brian Casey. Casey had just finished talking with a woman who was watering her yard Tuesday in the Brier Creek community.

A first violation of the water restriction rules results in a $200 fine and a second in $1,000. A third will result in water service being shut off.

Some customers have special permission to water everyday. The city is issuing such permits to customers trying to start new lawns. They have been flooded with requests, issuing nearly 800 so far. The permits were initially free, but the city has started charging $50.

"(It's) one of those things that you feel like someone should have to pay to have that privilege," said Ed Buchan, a water conservation specialist with the Public Utilities Department.

Raleigh's water supply has dropped nearly 50 percent. If it gets much worse, city leaders said they will consider tighter restrictions, such banning irrigation all together.

"The last thing we would want to see is someone spend a lot of money on a lawn and not be able to irrigate it," said Buchan.

A complete ban on irrigation could happen, if drought conditions don't improve and customers break water conservation rules.

"I think there has been enough publicity that they ought to know by now," said Casey.

Water consumption was down over the weekend, but city officials suspect it had to do with people being away for the holiday weekend.

Holly Springs also decided to tighten water use. Town council members approved these water restrictions Tuesday night:

  • Washing of vehicles should be done on Saturday and Sunday.
  • Washing down of outside areas should be done on Saturday and Sunday.
  • Pools, ponds and fountains can only be filled to remain operational.
  • Drinking water shall not be served in a public restaurant, except upon request.
  • People with odd-numbered addresses can water on Tuesday.
  • People with even-number addresses can water on Wednesday.
  • A 30-day exceptions is available for new lawns and sod.
  • Car and boat washing at home is limited to the weekend.
11 Comments

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  • lolly Sep 5, 2007

    "The permits were initially free, but the city has started charging $50."

    Revenue stream. Allen and Meeker strike again.

  • NeverSurrender Sep 5, 2007

    "Not EVERYONE watches or listens to local news or gets a newspaper. It's difficult, but POSSIBLE, people don't know about water restrictions."

    ---

    That'd be credible until you remember that not only has Raleigh Water been carpet-bombing the airwaves, they've also sent out two mailings on the restrictions.

    ---

    "Wow, how did he do that. I think the problem is too much growth, too many manicured lawns and no water infrastructure to back it up."

    ---

    And apparently no motivation to step up building plans for the reclaimed water system which would drastically reduce the drain on the potable water supply and allow for nice lawns and plenty of drinking water. The fastest build-out plan they're offering is 30 years with a 60-year plan as the only other offered alternative.

    I'm thinking that Raleigh needs leaders who know how to shift out of low gear! And unfortunately, Raleigh citizens are going to have to fix this...those of us in the merged systems have no vote in this.

  • atozca Sep 5, 2007

    "Some customers have special permission to water everyday. The city is issuing such permits to customers trying to start new lawns..." Wow, how important the almighty lawn is.

  • knelsud92 Sep 5, 2007

    "MADE her AWARE??? FIRST VIOLATION is $200- thats the rule! ENFORCE IT!!"

    Not EVERYONE watches or listens to local news or gets a newspaper. It's difficult, but POSSIBLE, people don't know about water restrictions.

    Where does the fine money go? What about the $40,000 in unexpected and unbudgeted revenue for water permits? Sure, conserve water, but, to me, the restrictions look like a another way the cities can take more money out of people's pockets.

  • storyteller Sep 5, 2007

    make the penalty much more harsh.
    1st violation 2500$
    2nd violation 5000$
    and it will not be turned on until the violation is paid in full

  • dwntwnboy Sep 5, 2007

    "solution to the problem they caused in the first place".Meeker caused the drought??? Wow, how did he do that. I think the problem is too much growth, too many manicured lawns and no water infrastructure to back it up. I'm sure if Mayor Meeker had his way- it would rain and we could leave the water on all we wanted. Meeker has been mayor for a shorter time than we've had water problems, he landed in a job with that problem already. It's up to all of us to cut our use- same with power, gas etc. We are the ones gobbling up the resources, we should be the ones to learn to conserve.

  • St Ives Sep 5, 2007

    I agree with you Fun, the rules are for everyone. I goave up on a lawn a long time ago and I think we are in such a critical situation theat even new lawns should be put on hold. Eight houndred permits for daily watering were issued. That is a lot of water.

  • Fun Sep 5, 2007

    "I made her aware of the new guidelines, which she says she wasn't aware of, so she turned it (her water) off," said code enforcement officer Brian Casey. MADE her AWARE??? FIRST VIOLATION is $200- thats the rule! ENFORCE IT!!

  • mrtwinturbo Sep 5, 2007

    Just remember, 'If it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown flush it down.'”
    Perhaps with the water you save you might be able to bathe more thoroughly in the future

  • Madman at the Wheel Sep 5, 2007

    Amen

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