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Siler City Imposes Stiff Water Fines

Posted September 11, 2007

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— If you get caught watering outdoors in Siler City, it could cost you. Town officials implemented new water restrictions on Monday. Everyone was asked to reduce water consumption by 20 percent.

First-time offenders could be charged with a misdemeanor that carries up to a $500 fine. A second offense would bring a civil injunction, and subsequent violations would lead to water service being shut off.

"It will probably cost a little more, but in the long run it will be worth it because we've got to conserve water," said restaurant owner Lee Coblen.

The restrictions ban all watering of lawns and outdoor vegetation, washing cars, power-washing driveways and sidewalks, and filling pools and fountains.

Banning outdoor watering happens more often than not in Siler City. It is so common, all eight operational car washes have back up wells.

The town's Rocky River Reservoir is down 9 feet. The water restrictions kick in automatically if the levels get that low.

"I think it's telling our citizens that we are serious," said Siler City manager Joel Brower. "We are reading their meters every Monday and we are making sure that they [businesses] reduce."

Some businesses are trucking in water to help supplement their needs.

The town manager hopes the restrictions will stretch a 90-day water supply another 30 to 40 days.

"You just tighten the belt and deal with it," said resident Bud Stovall.

The town also hopes to start expanding its reservoir in October.

With the dry conditioners affecting so many areas, state agriculture commissioner Steve Troxler is expected to make an announcement Tuesday concerning hay funding.

Because of the drought, farmers across the state face an estimated hay shortfall of up to 800,000 round bales. Gov. Mike Easley has asked for federal disaster aid for 85 counties.


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  • haggis basher Sep 11, 2007

    " Some people waste a lot inside their houses, where it is not observable and not punishable."

    What is it coming to......Water Nazis?
    Folks PAY for the water they use. Its the Politicians who don't do their job of either restricting growth or increasing supply.

  • aquamama Sep 11, 2007

    Freyr is angry and is withholding rain. He hasn't been getting enough mead.

  • Harvey Sep 11, 2007

    Maybe it's Neptune being all greedy with the ocean water and preventing evaporation.

  • haggis basher Sep 11, 2007

    Zeus,Pah! Everyone should know that Tlaloc is the true god of Rain (and lightning!)
    What have you all been doing to displease Tlaloc???

  • ptahandatum Sep 11, 2007

    Zeus will soon deliver rain to NC. You can't keep a good god like Zeus from doing his work. All praise Zeus!

  • thewayitis Sep 11, 2007

    I wish they would put a limit on water use per person, rather than restricting how water can be used. (This could be monitored at a household level.) Some people waste a lot inside their houses, where it is not observable and not punishable. If I were told I couldn't water my vegetable garden, I'd be flippin' mad, because I'd rather have my veggies, and conserve water other ways. I NEVER do a small load of laundry, I take quick showers, and have low flush toilets, among other things. And we NEVER water our lawn, even when water is not restricted. To me, watering a lawn is a pointless activity. But a vegetable garden, that provides food for your family? That should be allowed. I can see this as being a real hardship for people who rely on their gardens for food. And yes, many gardens are still producing heavily, even in September.

  • CoCo Sep 11, 2007

    And how much water per day were Siler City officials prepared to hand over to ISP Minerals? 190,000 gallons?

  • Harvey Sep 11, 2007

    Right hshshawks! Good one!

  • Harvey Sep 11, 2007

    My question is: Why did they let the reservoir get down NINE FEET before doing anything about it? Why didn't they see it coming when it was... ohhhh.... FOUR FEET below normal?

    To all who think that just hitting people with penalties is the answer. That does nothing to replace the missing water. People who have the means will still just waste it away. I don't care if you charge $10,000 for overages, some people just want green grass at all costs. Restrictions and/or conservation efforts need to be YEAR-ROUND so people are used to it and understand it. Cary does this and we almost never need to add restrictions to the current ones.

  • armada08 Sep 11, 2007

    Some ways people can conserve water, besides not watering their lawns, are to save the water that runs down the drain when they are waiting for their shower to heat up. My mother has been doing this for years, she has buckets in her bathroom, and when she turns on the bath, she puts the buckets in the tub to collect the cold water until the hot comes in. She then uses that water to water her plants and other garden plants. Also, turn off the water when brushing your teeth.