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Indoor Water Cutbacks Urged in Raleigh

Posted January 23, 2008

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— Some area residents have slashed their water use through practical means like using paper plates or using a bucket to collect water as the shower warms up. Others have resorted to more extreme measures like placing a rain barrel on a backyard chicken coop.

But Raleigh officials say not enough people are cutting back their water consumption, especially when it comes to indoor use.

The average daily demand over the past month has been 39.6 million gallons, which is about 400,000 gallons a day higher than the average two weeks ago, officials said. Although Raleigh is pumping 39 percent less water per day than last summer, they said most of that decrease occurred last fall as outdoor water restrictions took effect.

"We really haven't seen a dramatic drop-off in just your average usage," said Ed Buchan, water conservation specialist with Raleigh's Department of Public Utilities.

Gov. Mike Easley has implored people in recent months to cut back as much as possible. On Tuesday, the Raleigh City Council voted to recommend local residents use no more than 35 gallons a day each, and the council and Mayor Charles Meeker have asked people to install low-flow devices on faucets and showers.

"It wouldn't be completely impossible," Buchan said, noting a study he conducted show toilets, showers and washing machines are the biggest water-guzzlers in the average home.

"The easiest thing to do is take a shorter shower. The toilets, as unpleasant as it may be, just don't flush (them) as often," he said.

Raleigh officials plan to place a water calculator on the city's Web site in the next week or so to help residents gauge their use.

"We'll show you how much, on average, water you use and how you can reduce that down to 35 gallons," Buchan said.


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  • JimP Jan 24, 2008

    Think how swell your toilet will smell when the water runs out. Go get some bleach tablets. Close the lid. Geez. It's just pee.

    Me - I'm wearing depends until this works itself out one way or the other.

  • Iron Man Jan 24, 2008

    First, your water bill does not even show consumption by gallons, nor the conversion rate. The only way you can calculate it is to go on line which some people are unable to do. Why not identify those house holds that are using from 50% to 100% more than the average and send letters explaining that they are using a disproportionate amount of water and that if this contiumes they may face the possibility of a fine. I still think that All local; state, county and city executives;i.e., govonor, various state secretaries and commissionser, mayor, and council persons should make public their last year (2006) water consumption and 2007/08 for the public to see if they have lowered their consumption to the 35 gallon/day/person.

  • mburks952 Jan 24, 2008

    Lets see, don't flush you toilet... What if you have little children? A bit of a problem yes? Oh, and Raleigh is listed as a sanctuary city, maybe some of the illegals should be sent back home? Also, maybe the development should be stopped... Also, how much water does the mayor use? Can we see his water bill? Seems to me they have no plan, and never had had one.

    Now how do we start a recall petition? The public needs to speak loud and clear on the fact that we are not here to give the mayor and the city council what they want, they are here to serve the public. What a novel idea!!!!!

  • SteamTrain Jan 24, 2008

    I think we're all looking for some COMMUNICATION from Raleigh officials about how they plan to increase our water supplies. All we hear about is building policies that reduce our supply.

    Let's hear it Mayor/Council! What are you planning on to get us more water for all these new developments.

  • Greyhound_Girl Jan 24, 2008

    No Sense, I heard about the pool last night, too and started laughing. I can't believe that the Mayor is asking residents to cut back on water usage and they're going to have another pool to fill. "How are they going to fill it?". Also, there have been 3 water main breaks in the last week...The system is breaking down around us.

    How do they calculate public "consumption" with the water main breaks???? How can they complain that public usage is "up", when there are probably 100's of new homes added to the system daily (just look in SE Raleigh)????

    STOP adding new customers to the Raleigh water system; stop building now!!!!

  • HadEnough Jan 24, 2008

    This garbage has gone on long enough. People are tired of being asked to cut back when businesses are given free rein. I'm writing the town council today and putting them on notice that they need to shut up until they put restrictions on business.

  • LuvLivingInCary Jan 23, 2008

    this issue can be solved very quickly. just do like cary does...have a tiered billing system. the more you use the more expensive the higher usage is. in cary anything over 8,000 gallons a month is billed at the highest rate. w

    hy is it that everyone can't learn from cary's great methods.

  • Mr Douglas Jan 23, 2008

    I heard on WRAL tonight that Raleigh has approved a swimming pool area for the Buffaloe Road Athletic Park. Seems odd we are asked to cut back, but Raleigh continues to build pools.

  • bcc Jan 23, 2008

    Very simple...pay by the gallon. That way, the McMansion owners who can't conserve or reduce consumption pay the premium, and those of us that conserve save. My water utility charges a flat rate just for hookup, and a charge per gallon for everything beyond the flat rate (which I have NEVER exceeded). That is a big part of the problem. If we charged by the gallon, then the big consumers (business and McMansion owners), would bear the brunt of the increased costs for water. Perhaps then and only then would consumption and waste be reduced (but I doubt it).

  • BIGCHEESECAMATO Jan 23, 2008

    blame the democrats on this one. Esp Edwards and Hillary. Trucks were on their way from the Bush Admin. until John and Hillary re-routed them to Florida