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Durham to Halt Pumping Water From Quarry

Posted February 21, 2008

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— A few weeks after Durham officials installed an emergency tap at an abandoned quarry to supplement its dwindling water supply, officials said Thursday they would turn off the tap this weekend.

Durham has more than 180 days of quality drinking water in its two primary reservoirs, Lake Michie and Little River Reservoir, officials said. That makes pumping water from the Teer Quarry unnecessary, they said.

The city's water supply was down to about a month's worth at the end of December when crews began tapping the estimated 600 million gallons of water at the quarry in north Durham.

Still, City Council members said they want to be prepared for the worst, and they asked the Water Management Department to define what "Stage 5" water restrictions would mean for Durham residents and businesses.

Water department officials proposed amending existing Stage 4 rules to give the city the ability to address restrictions on new construction.

Council members also discussed the need for more enforcement for water customers that don't follow the Stage 4 rules.


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  • aoakley336 Feb 22, 2008

    meh2, I sure hope that was sarcasm. Durham never does anything right.

  • meh2 Feb 22, 2008

    Expect the best choices from Durham politicians. They always do what's right.

  • White Eagle Feb 22, 2008

    OK so the initial crisis has passed and the immediate need for water from the quarry is no longer needed but what is going to happen now? Will efforts continue to bring the quarry online? Will efforts be made to bring the quarry up to it's full potential in terms of the amount of water stored and the ability to extract the water for processing? What we need is the "rest of the story" as Paul Harvey would say. I'm glad we have ~6 months of water available to us in Durham but the crisis is not over. Can anyone answer these questions and address future plans?

  • jsanders Feb 21, 2008

    This column by NC State economist Mike Walden gives the rationale behind tiered water pricing: http://www.johnlocke.org/news_columns/display_story.html?id=4433

  • Tax Man Feb 21, 2008

    If any city wants to raise rates for excessive water usage, they need to know how many people live in each home/apartment etc. There should be a reasonable allocation for each person per day and only exceeding that should cause the added cost - on the other hand, if a family conserves water they should be rewarded with a discount! So, above the norm = more $$, below the norm = discount/rebate. And the cities need to plan better for these problems - like California did in the 30's - pipelines to other states so you can buy water when needed or sell water when you have too much. Planning! And during wet years add to the reserves - store water - do something.