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Apex Aggressively Cutting Water Usage

Posted December 3, 2007

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— The drought isn't going away anytime soon, but people are doing something about their water consumption in the face of dwindling supplies.

In WRAL's viewing area, the Walnut Creek community in Wayne County has cut its water use the most compared with the August average – down 55 percent. Seven Lakes and Pinehurst in Moore County and Smithfield are also hitting the 50 percent mark. In the Triangle, Apex is the closest at 44 percent.

“We're trying to conserve because we know when we're out of water, well, we gotta do something,” Apex resident Roland Boyd said.

The town has managed to cut daily water usage from 4 million gallons a day to nearly 2 million.

Mayor Keith Weatherly credits the town's 26,000 residents.

“We have had to fine no one. The compliance rate is through the roof,” Weatherly said.

“The only way we're gonna conserve water in the Triangle area is to make irrigation expensive,” Tim Donnelly, Apex public works director, said.

During the 2002 drought, Apex started charging residents $1,750 to install irrigation meters. Donnelly said it has discouraged homeowners from buying irrigation systems, and that has saved the town water.

Folks like Roland Boyd have taken things a step further, such as doing laundry only when necessary.

“We might wash three times a week, whereas we used to wash two times a day,” Roland Boyd.

“I can't explain the difference, but I do know where our citizens stand,” Weatherly said.

Apex draws its water from Jordan Lake, along with Cary. They have six to eight months worth of drinking water left.

More on Apex Water Restrictions:

The Town of Apex implemented year-round water restrictions on Oct. 1 – limiting residents to three days of outdoor sprinkling per week with unlimited hand-held watering.

However, in response to the current drought, the Apex Town Council adopted a ban on use of outdoor fountains and automated and sprinkler irrigation effective Oct. 19.

The town stopped issuing landscape permits then, too. Residents who had permits at the time got 30 days to get lawns or landscaping established, then had to quit watering.

First violations in Apex get written notices. Second ones bring $1,000 fines.

13 Comments

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  • Amused Dec 4, 2007

    cont.,,
    because Cary wanted to grow so rapidly that they KNEW they wouldn't have enough water to supply its residents. Cary was told early on about this problem. ( Perhaps that is the real reason for Cary's so-called "water restrictions") But little Apex and Holly Springs stood up to Cary.

  • Amused Dec 4, 2007

    You can say what you want to about Cary, but we have been on water restrictions since the 2001 drought. Our leaders had the good sense to not lift the restrictions and it has worked great. We have gone on stricter regulations lately but it is not bad. At least our leaders have looked after the town instead of jumping on the band wagon when the problem is almost beyond help. Mr. Meeker in Raleigh seems to be real good at johnny come lately. It seems he leans with the wind and not always good of Raleigh. Same thing in Apex. Your right, we have a town full of snobs but I think our leaders are better than any other town around.

    Cary has been on water restrictions since 2001??? Oh REALLY?? Is that why residents were watering their lawns, Cary businesses still using irrigation systems, Cary HOAs ( If I remember correctly) calling residents to water their brown lawns in the summer? I can remember years ago when Cary was trying to get Holly Springs and Apex 's share of water from Jordan Lak

  • ma2345 Dec 4, 2007

    SMITTY
    Your exactly right. There is no water shortage in Apex or Cary for that matter. Lake Jordan has enough water left for 6 to 8 months and that is with NO RAIN. I love to garden. I take pride in my yard filled with Japanese Maples, beautiful plants, and exotic flowers I have collected over the years. They look really nice sitting my in my dry, dead grass.

  • InTheWind Dec 4, 2007

    You can say what you want to about Cary, but we have been on water restrictions since the 2001 drought. Our leaders had the good sense to not lift the restrictions and it has worked great. We have gone on stricter regulations lately but it is not bad. At least our leaders have looked after the town instead of jumping on the band wagon when the problem is almost beyond help. Mr. Meeker in Raleigh seems to be real good at johnny come lately. It seems he leans with the wind and not always good of Raleigh. Same thing in Apex. Your right, we have a town full of snobs but I think our leaders are better than any other town around.

  • Nobody but Carolina Dec 4, 2007

    Durham has 2 months, Raleigh is actually between 3 and 4 months.

  • smitty Dec 4, 2007

    Funny thing is there is no shortage in Apex. 6-8 mos is not a shortage. Durham and Raleigh on the other hand have like 2 months.

  • ma2345 Dec 4, 2007

    I live in Apex. Its the same old thing. Politicians bragging to the media how much they care about the town. The truth is
    Apex is planning one of the biggest developments to hit Wake county ever, with over 4000 new homes. The fine fellow Bruce Radford, town manager, was asked where the kids would go to school. His comment was
    "that's not my problem I dont work for the Wake co school bd.
    Yep ole Apex will be saving lots of water when that development is up and running...

  • Nobody but Carolina Dec 4, 2007

    "What's the difference in washing clothes twice a day or 3 times a week... it's still the same amount of clothes. I'm glad people are trying though."

    Most likely the same thing I've done. That being combining some loads of laundry that can be thereby reducing the number of loads actually done and reducing water usage. I was able to combine my towels, underwear and socks in to one load, my other load is bed linens. I've alse gone from washing towels and sheets weekly and underwear and socks every 2 weeks (I actually have enough to make it two weeks and not rewaer any) to everything every 2 weeks. Between that and running my dishwasher every 9 or 10 days, I actually ended up reducing my monthly usage by another 700 gallons. I have to admit I was surprised it did that much though.

  • LuvLivingInCary Dec 4, 2007

    t-man, Cary's the only whipping boy on golo. kinda funny that we read today about HOA problems and clothes lines in WAKE FOREST, not CARY. LOL.

  • North Carolina Native Dec 4, 2007

    What's the difference in washing clothes twice a day or 3 times a week... it's still the same amount of clothes. I'm glad people are trying though.

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