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Few Volunteers Slows Low-Flow Effort to Trickle

Posted March 21, 2008

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— After asking all residents and businesses to install water-saving devices, Raleigh officials purchased 5,000 low-flow shower heads and faucet aerators to help low-income households make the switch.

But the effort has been slowed by a lack of volunteers to install the devices and delays in obtaining them.

"Quite frankly, we don't have the staff trained," said Hardy Watkins, director of the city's Community Services Department. "We're looking for organizations, non-profits, individuals, plumbers, plumbing companies and those types."

City officials said they hope to have all of the low-flow devices installed before the next prolonged dry spell to curb daily water consumption as much as possible.

A fifth of indoor water usage is linked to showers and baths, and older houses often have faucets and shower heads that pump out twice as much water as newer ones.

"This is a longer-term goal," said Ed Buchan, water conservation specialist with the city's Public Utilities Department. "You don't net lots of water reduction all of a sudden. It takes a little while for it to make a difference. This will be something we can say we did for the next drought."

Community Services has a list of residents who qualify for the city's low-flow devices, and Watkins said officials still need to notify the residents and schedule appointments with them.

"On a long-term basis, we've got to be prepared for this," he said. "As we grow more and more and we expand our water services, there's going to be a continuous need for it."

Anyone interested in volunteering should call Brent Quick at 919-831-6120 or e-mail him at brent.quick@ci.raleigh.nc.us.

6 Comments

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  • whatelseisnew Mar 21, 2008

    Yes I think Meeker and the city council should spend full time going around installing the low flow devices until they are all installed. Anything to keep them busy so they do not come up with moron ideas like banning garbage disposals and dreaming up another new fee to gouge the city residents of ever more money.

  • MarcoPolo Mar 21, 2008

    Maybe I'm taking the wrong approach. Maybe I should invite a volunteer to my home to add a "value-added" device (which it really isn't) for free. If it cost you $0, that could be a good return on ebay...

  • The Fox Mar 21, 2008

    Just because the folks are low income doesn't mean they are stupid. A lot of these people work on their own cars, make their own repairs, etc, unlike the fat cats.

  • MarcoPolo Mar 21, 2008

    I'm sure Meeker will be "surprised".

    Low flow devices are a wash! Spend more water (longer use) because the device doesn't supply the proper pressure. It's another boondogle for gov't. Now they need more people. Yeah- doesn't cost taxpayers anything.

    What is wrong with the world??????

  • colliedave Mar 21, 2008

    But the effort has been slowed by a lack of volunteers to install the devices

    How hard is it to install these things? Perhaps Meeker and his minions can volunteer. Why not all the UU churhes inlist their members since they care SO much about the universe and not leaving a carbon footprint.

    algore isn't doing anything so I bet he would be willing to hop on his private jet and take a trip down here. Hill and Bill are going to be in the area so why not join them?

  • imtiredofit Mar 21, 2008

    Another misguided attempt by Wake County government to stem the flow of water usage, what they do not realize is that the low income people are normally very frugal with their water because they live on a limited income. If Wake County wants to help with water conservation they should go after the "fat cats" that have more money than brains and who don't give a rats rump about being frugal with water.