Local News

Holly Springs Stops Buying Raleigh Water

Posted February 20, 2008

— Holly Springs has stopped buying water from Raleigh and will start buying all of its water from Harnett County, officials said Wednesday. 

The move means all of the town's drinking water will come from the Cape Fear River, which isn't as severely affected by the ongoing drought as Falls Lake, which is Raleigh's primary reservoir.

If the need arises, Holly Springs still could get water from Raleigh, Town Manager Carl Dean said.

"We're one of the few places that have a dual source of water," Dean said in a statement.

To resume buying from Raleigh, Holly Springs would have to adopt the same water restrictions as Raleigh and the other area towns on the municipal water system. Raleigh implemented its toughest water-use rules last Friday, but city officials are discussing even stricter limits that could take effect in the coming months, if the drought persists.

Holly Springs has been cutting back on its water purchases from Raleigh since last fall. The town's average daily purchase last month was a little more than 500,000 gallons.

To meet long-term water needs, Holly Springs officials are considering whether to purchase capacity for up to 8 million more gallons a day from Harnett County, which will begin expanding its water treatment plant this spring.

Falls Lake is about 8 feet below normal and has enough drinking water to last at least through June 17. The Army Corps of Engineers, which manages the lake, agreed Tuesday to reduce flows into the Neuse River by about 9 percent to help conserve the available drinking water.

Also Wednesday, Raleigh's new Water Conservation Council met for the first time to discuss how to change city's approach to water use. The council is made up of business leaders, civil servants and educators.

The group adopted the acronym RACE – Raleigh Area Conservation Effort – as its slogan to reflect the race to save the city's dwindling water supply. They said they plan to use public service announcements, school educational programs and best practices for businesses to cut water consumption by 20 percent.

Members also discussed a so-called "doomsday scenario" in case conservation isn't enough and Falls Lake runs dry.

"What happens if 20 percent reduction is really not enough? That's a very difficult topic to get people to discuss," said David Moreau, director of the Water Resources Research Institute in the University of North Carolina system.


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  • rushbot Feb 21, 2008

    I was told the reason that Holly Springs wound up with the dump is related to water. The story I was told had the Mayor of Holly Springs agreeing 10 years ago to host the dump if only Raleigh would share their water and sewer. Supposedly at that time, Holly Springs was without a municipal water and sewer system, and in those pre-development days was so desperate to get one, that they sold their soul to the devil and agreed to the dump. Does anyone know if this is true? If so, then it looks like the score is Devil-1, Holly Springs-0!

  • foetine Feb 21, 2008

    Holly Springs will get 540 when they get 540. Every time I take the new and expanded highway from Apex to Holly Springs, it's pretty empty. You people down there whine like you've got LA Freeway style traffic jams around the clock. Instead you'd rather sell us all out to the evil tollbooth folks - which in other cities have been sold to foreign countries. Do you want to sell our roads to an Arab country so you can pay $5 a day to drive one way to Raleigh?

  • oceanchild71 Feb 21, 2008

    I have to agree that having another HT seems redundant and another Wal-Mart, etc. But those big-box corporations have specific formulas to figure out where to build and I guess those sites fit the criteria (number of folks currently, expected growth, proximity to other stores same or similar, etc).

  • NH Feb 21, 2008

    I understand the growth, etc. I just don't like it. Why we needed a Wal Mart when there was one right in Fuquay...why we need another Harris Teeter...why we need another strip mall across the street. I guess if I wanted to live practically next door to a Wal Mart I would have moved to one 8 years ago when we moved here. I'm sure a lot of people are quite pleased with the growth; I am disgusted with it but realize I'm probably in the minority here. Which is why I plan to try to sell my home this summer and get out. The town has lost it's "small town" feel and is no longer what I moved into.

  • oceanchild71 Feb 21, 2008

    "Good for Holly Springs, one thing they actually did right. Unfortunately, they are allowing entirely too much growth here so I hope we're not in the same boat as Raleigh in another few years." NH

    Actually, HS has the highest impact fees of any municipality in Wake County and has some of if not THE strictest standards of building, building materials, etc. While growth is somewhat crazy out here as of late, it will slow. Take a drive through Twelve Oaks, they are not exactly selling like hotcakes. In my neighborhood where there is still some new construction happening, there are several new houses that have been on the market at least six months and most of the ones under construction are not sold yet. This is not even counting the existing homes up for sale. So, the slow down is coming.

  • superman Feb 21, 2008

    NOt much you can do to plan for a drought. It either rains or it doesnt. The best thing would be that they implement a plan that when the rain is 2 inches below normal that they start water conservation. More holes in the ground wont work with no rain. The water shortage will contine as long as more people come here. There wont be any significant rainfall until this fall when we have a hurricane or a tropical storm. And to worry about something that happens every 100 years and to prepare for it by digging more holes is stupid.

  • hollylama Feb 21, 2008

    I love the planners we have! Rock on!

  • Kristen_-_RN Feb 21, 2008

    ""Now if Holly Springs can just stop demanding 540 reaches them with tollbooths, we'll be a little bit better off." - foetine

    I agree with you. 540 should reach Holly Springs without tollbooths just like it did to North Raleigh. And if the only way to get 540 out to Holly Springs is with tollbooths, then lets put tolls on the whole durn thing. It is about time that those of us who reside in the Southwestern part of the county stop paying (literally and figuratively) for all the folks ITB and North Raleigh. Whether it is lack of 540 or MYR being forced on us (which it still is via intimidation and veiled threats), Southwest Wake residents are really being bent over the barrel.


    Ok - not original, but I literally could NOT have said anything better myself!

    Holly Springs gets such a bad rap... damned if they do, damned if they don't.

    Good job on the water, HS!

  • common_sense_plz Feb 21, 2008

    Raleigh and Wake County have spent too much time in planning to over pouplate the area, and I must say that they have have done a very good job. Too bad they did not have enough commom sense to plan for the possibility of a drought, and therefor the lack of water, which is a absoutly necessary to sustain life. Plus they are 20 years behind on building the little river resevor out towards zebulon. I hope that they know that they need to have some serious discussions with the army corps of engineers, to make this a deep and much larger resevoir than they have planned, and still at this rate, it will probably be another 20 years before the actually begin building the thing.

  • NH Feb 21, 2008

    Good for Holly Springs, one thing they actually did right. Unfortunately, they are allowing entirely too much growth here so I hope we're not in the same boat as Raleigh in another few years.