Local News

How Much Could Raleigh Mayor's Water Proposal Cost?

Posted January 7, 2008
Updated January 8, 2008

— Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker is urging all city customers to use no more than 25 gallons of water a day. He warned Monday that the cost of water could go up, and low-flow water devices may be required inside homes.

Many homeowners with whom WRAL has spoken over the last several months are trying to conserve water, whether it is taking shorter showers,  minimizing how often the dish washer runs or something else. But with the mayor calling for people to upgrade their homes, it could cost anywhere from $200 to $600.

Ron and Paula Myers started conserving water long before the Triangle fell into a severe drought. A master bathroom that the Myers added two years ago is outfitted with water-saving equipment, from the toilet to the faucets.

“You can press this button and what the pump does, it pumps water from the hot side to the cold side and then after 30 seconds, you've got hot water immediately at the faucet,” Ron Myers said.

This way, Myers said, the family doesn't have to run the water until it gets hot.

David and Peggy Mackowski worked on the Myers' bathroom. They said that while retrofitting a home with low-flow equipment can be costly, in the long run, it is well worth it.

“If you get into the faucets, the toilet, fixtures for a bathroom, putting in tank-less water heaters, that can actually add up to $10,000 to $12,000,” David Mackowski said.

For the "do it yourself" homeowner, the cost of upgrading a home to conserve more water can be reduced with a visit to a home improvement store.

For example, a shower gadget that increases pressure without bumping water usage runs about $10. Low-flow shower heads start at around $40.

“People are coming in wanting options, asking questions and seeing what they can do to abide by these restrictions and to see what they can do where it doesn't inconvenience them as much,” Lowe's employee Barrett Pagan said.

Homeowners can also do little things, like reusing water for irrigation and checking for silent leaks in their toilets.

The mayor said the city will work with non-profit groups to help low-income families purchase water saving devices.

The Raleigh City Council plans to discuss Meeker's water conservation plan at a meeting Tuesday.


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  • Dominion Jan 8, 2008

    Steve, you hit the nail right on the head. The leaders were too busy letting development after development be built. Now we're starting to run out of land to put the reservoirs, treatment plants, etc. I'm sure glad the housing market keeps me well-hydrated. Oh wait...

  • lolly Jan 8, 2008

    " morons cause the long-term problems."



  • Steve Crisp Jan 8, 2008

    To istherehope:

    There is not a shortage of water. There is a shortage of treated, drinking water. And that shortage is caused directly by the incompetence of our elected leaders to built reservoirs, treatments plants, and distribution systems. It comes from Raleigh constructing a lake to serve an expanding number of residents that was placed right at the headwaters of a river. It is caused by ignorant beaurocratic lack of forethought in not building a desalination plant or dredging lakes when they were low.

    Thought the vagaries of nature contribute to temporary fluxuations in the amount of water available for treatment, morons cause the long-term problems.

  • Rolling Along Jan 8, 2008

    We don't have an endless supply of water, we do need to conserve. BUT they need a moratorium on development until the infrastructure is updated and capable of supporting the existing population base!

  • istherehope20082 Jan 8, 2008

    We do not have an endless supply of water! EVERYONE needs to conserve. One thing you may want to consider.....Lowe's and other stores may not be carrying the lowest flow devices, only the lowest required by law. Ask how many GPM an shower head uses, go to local plumbing store and ask about the newest low flow toilets. There are newer devices out that save lots of water. Also check online at sites such as conservastore.com and Bricor.com . Educated yourself before you buy. There are cost effective devices out there. Also, look at your everyday habits. Most of your water reduction can be just from changing your habits. If we don't conserve now....there will be a time when you open the faucet and there is no water.....no mater how much money you have.

  • coldstone66 Jan 8, 2008

    i think some one needs to take the mayor out back and show him what can be done if he wants to control what goes on in people houses he dont own my house or yours if hee does he can make the house payment

  • lolly Jan 8, 2008

    I'd like to see our city leader's current water bills and their water bills from a year ago.