Local News

Lawn Watering in Durham Cut to One Day

Posted October 5, 2007

— With most of the Piedmont experiencing exceptional drought, Durham announced it will limit lawn watering to one day a week and warned that Stage 4 restrictions could be around the corner.

The tightened Stage 3 Moderate Mandatory Conservation will go into effect Monday, Oct. 15. From then, customers will only be able to water only once on Saturdays.

Lawn watering will be permitted either between 5 and 8 a.m. or 5 and 8 p.m., but city officials stressed that customers can not water during both time periods. Watering is additionally limited to 0.5 inches.

“By reducing the lawn watering schedule down to just one day a week, we’re hoping we see a significant decrease in water usage,” City Manager Patrick Baker said.

“Ideally, we’d like customers to water for no more than 30 minutes, because even with mandatory restrictions, we have not seen the reduced usage we need to ensure our water supply is adequate."

On Sept. 21, Durham ordered both businesses and residents to reduce daily use by 30 percent. Since then, consumption has dropped by only 12 percent, and levels in Lake Michie and the Little River Reservoir, Durham's primary water sources, have fallen another 1.3 feet to 14 feet below normal.

Baker warned that if customers do not reduce water usage by 30 percent, Durham could enforce Stage 4 Severe Mandatory Conservation restrictions from Monday, Oct. 29.

“Obviously, Stage IV restrictions are even more significant. But, if we can get compliance by our citizens, then we can hold off on moving to this stage,” Baker said. “Now, it’s up to our customers to help us ensure we have an adequate water supply to get our community through this drought.”

Customers are encouraged to report water waste to Durham One Call at 919-560-1200 or online.

First-time violators are given a written warning. Notice is given for a second violation, and water service will be terminated for a third violation.

Stage 3 restrictions also require that customers:

  • Do not add water to wading pools or swimming pools, except to replenish losses due to evaporation or spillage and to maintain equipment. Washing outside areas, such as sidewalks or patios, is banned.
  • Do not add water to any decorative fountain, pool or pond, except when the water is recycled.
  • Do not serve water in a restaurant, except upon request.
  • Do not wash the exterior of a motor vehicle, unless a private well water system is used, or at least 50 percent of the water is recycled, or it can be demonstrated that 30 gallons of water or less are used to wash the vehicle.

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  • cj Oct 5, 2007

    I still can't understand why it is so important to have a green lawn. I had much rather have water to drink and wash.

    I guess the next shortage will be deodorant because we have such beautiful lawns but not enough water to be clean.

  • room Oct 5, 2007

    I saw someone watering today (on Stallings Road) in the rain. Standing in the pouring rain, holding a water hose, watering the yard.
    Also, have you driven thru RTP lately? Last weekend automatic sprinklers running over by the Sheraton, across the street from RTP Credit Union, and various other places in that area.
    I would think someone could cut those sprinklers off. Shouldn't be to hard to find the businesses and residents who are watering, just look for the green grass.

  • Hip-Shot Oct 5, 2007

    Thats not enough: if the water supply is that critical, watering should be discontinued all together. Something to consider is they not only have to get rain, but the reservoir levels have to come back up to normal, or they'll be in a worse situation next year.

  • mrtwinturbo Oct 5, 2007

    I never watered my lawn, it just means its going to grow so I can go out and cut it, spend money on the water and the gas to cut it. Let mother nature take care of it. Before long it will all be brown anyway until spring

  • parr4246 Oct 5, 2007

    "and water service will be terminated for a third violation."

    Wake County says the same thing but all they do is write tickets............. by the way if they ever do terminate water service, how long will the shut off last..........???