Local News

Water Emergency Over in Siler City, But Restrictions Remain

Posted October 29, 2007

— Siler City officials declared an end to the town's water emergency after recent rains, but kept mandatory water-use restrictions in place.

The Rocky River Reservoir rose 11.5 feet after rains late last week, increasing its storage capacity to 120 days. Only on Thursday, town leaders said levels were down to 107.5 feet, giving the town a 65-day water supply, and they were scrambling to find an emergency source.

Mayor Charles L. Turner declared an end to the town's official water emergency status on Wednesday, but said the town remained in danger of a water shortage.

"With the uncertainty of future rainfall events and the pessimistic forecast, mandatory water restrictions will remain in place," Town Manager Joel Brower said in a release.

The mandatory regulations lessen one restriction: Residential and commercial customers must reduce water use by 20 percent, instead of 50 percent.

Commercial car washes must stay closed. The restrictions also make it unlawful to:

  • water outdoor lawn, shrubbery, flowers or other outdoor vegetation.
  • wash cars or other vehicles.
  • wash outdoor areas, including sidewalks, patios and driveways.
  • introduce water into a swimming pool or run water in a decorative fountain, pool or pond.
  • use water for any nonessential use.

Siler City backed its water restrictions with strict consequences: a $500 hit for the fist violation, a civil injunction for the second, and termination of service within three days for a third.

"All water users are required to conserve water in every possible way," Brower said.

If the Rocky River Reservoir had dipped 15 ft below 125 ft, unprecedented restrictions – including water rationing – would have automatically kicked in.

Two poultry producers have been paying for trucks to haul about 90 loads of water every day from Jordan Lake to Siler City's reservoirs. The businesses need the water to stay in operation.

Town leaders are considering ways to fill up their reservoir. Sanford has agreed to sell up to 1 million gallons a day of its surplus water to Siler City. Chatham County had planned to connect the communities' water systems before the drought, but speeding up the process will cost Siler City an estimated $1 million.

Siler City might also build a $2.5 million pipe 4½ miles to Pittsboro to tap into its water supply.


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  • BlowupDollWithChatAmbitions Oct 29, 2007

    At least Siler City's powers that be know what they are doing and know how to implement measures better than those here. Kudos to them. :)

  • veyor Oct 29, 2007

    This drought has shown just how handcuffed the brains of government really are. I have not heard of one single municipality that did anything to improve their supply.

  • TheWB Oct 29, 2007

    My_prerogative, unfortunately, is right, but that doesn't make it right. What part of water emergency doesn't mean emergency and when you have an emergency drastic measures are often required so there isn't soon to be another emergency. Whew. I say dig baby, dig, we'll count the spotted mud darter larva later. Meantime, people are running out of water along a lot of other various species, what about them, hmm?

  • Run_Forrest_Run Oct 29, 2007

    fkozlof, You can't dredge the resevoir because you have to have a 5 year environmental study on how more water effects the fish, birds, trees, mosquitos, etc. - plus - more importantly you have to have several million dollars in permits paid for. Lastly - probably isn't a stray dollar left to do the digging, although I bet I know some good ole boys who would be willing to do the digging for beer. LOL

  • I know some stuff Oct 29, 2007

    It's still short sighted thinking. They have not increased THE water supply, they're just using someone else's.

    Wonder why they didn't take advantage of this low water period, and dredge the reservoir, so next hurricane, it would hold more water??

  • Been there once Oct 29, 2007

    It's also good to know elected officials are not going to let people waste the water. The rain helped, but the drought is not over my a long shot.

  • Nobody but Carolina Oct 29, 2007

    That's good news for them. Almost doubled their suppy.