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Taps Remain Off for People on Community Wells

Posted April 16, 2008

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— Thousands of water customers across North Carolina must continue curbing their water use, despite relaxed regulations in many area cities and towns.

People who draw water from community wells run by companies like Aqua North Carolina aren't covered by municipal water regulations. Rather, the state Utilities Commission oversees those systems, which serve more than 110,000 people statewide.

The commission adopted water restrictions last October that banned outdoor irrigation, pressure washing and washing cars. Officials said they plan to keep tight restrictions in place because the wells pull from groundwater, which recharges much more slowly than the surface reservoirs that spring rains have refilled in recent weeks.

"We're not allowed to ... water our grass," Wake County resident Jordan Reesman said. "No washing our vehicles, (no) sprinklers, (no) Slip 'n Slides for the children – no summer stuff."

State Climatologist Ryan Boyles said recently that the depleted groundwater is a primary reason most of North Carolina is still considered to be in a drought. Another hot, dry summer will drain Falls Lake and other reservoirs more quickly because of the low groundwater flows into them, he said.

Amy Tripp, who also is on a community well, said she is frustrated watching neighbors on Raleigh's municipal water system pull out their sprinklers while her lawn continues to dry out.

"The thing that's getting me is the pollen. I would love to wash the decks, wash the car," Tripp said.


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  • billybob72 Apr 17, 2008

    It doesn't make sense that these Community Well restrictions apply to the entire State, although some regions have been designated "Abnormaly Dry", although some are still under "Extreme" or "Severe" status. Seems that there should be some loosening of restrictions in certain areas, similar to Raleigh Stage 1 maybe, but the same strict limits apply everywhere regardless.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Apr 17, 2008

    "Now, if we had carried the surplus over like the weather people and politicians have carried over last year's deficit we would now be reading a 5.18 inch SURPLUS of rainfall since 1/1/06."

    The politicians won't report this as a SURPLUS because then the City of Raleigh and the Corp of Engineers would have to admit that they have mismanaged the water in the Falls of Neuse Lake.

    The Weather People in the Media won't report this surplus because a SURPLUS doesn't generate ratings like a Deficit and a Drought does.

    As they say in Accounting, figures don't lie, but liars sure do figure.

  • OhYeah Apr 17, 2008

    We're an Aqua NC customer and thought we had the same restrictions as the surrounding towns. I looked on Aqua's website for our specific restrictions but did not find them. Does anyone know where I can get that information for future use? I told the kids...go ahead and wash your cars...it's all good!

  • silverado32 Apr 17, 2008

    All i can say is my well fills up quickly. it's about 5ft from the top.

  • BULLDOZER Apr 17, 2008

    Here are the facts:

    From January 1 2006 to December 31st 2006 rain gauges at RDU recorded a
    total of 53.69 inches of the rainfall for the year of 2006 or 10.64 inches
    above the average of 43.05.... a SURPLUS for the year ending 2006

    From January 1 2007 to December 31st 2007 rain gauges at RDU recorded a
    total of 35.81 inches of the rainfall for the year of 2007 or 7.24 inches
    below the average of 43.05.... a DEFICIT for the year ending 2007

    From January 1 2008 to April 15 2008 rain gauges at RDU recorded 13.02
    inches of rainfall to date for 2008 or .1223 inches of rain per the 106
    calendar days year to date, extrapolated to 44.83 inches for the year of 2008..another surplus of 1.78 inches

    *(source WRAL almanac reading from RDU rainfall station)*

    Now, if we had carried the surplus over like the weather people and politicians have carried over last year's deficit we would now be reading a 5.18 inch SURPLUS of rainfall since 1/1/06.

    Please spread the word. What th

  • grenlyn1 Apr 16, 2008

    Think about it folks, wells are supplied by underground water which comes from run off not surface water. Water travels downward not upward. So why would we conserve well water for a system that doesn't rely on it? It's politics in true form. It's the idiots we put into office that would like us to believe otherwise. The only people who are depleting the surface water are the ones who are tapped into it not wells. Wells should never have been placed on restrictions in the first place.

  • whatelseisnew Apr 16, 2008

    Yes won't certain folks that are all giddy about the lake filling up so quick be surprised. Ya see the fact that it filled so quick with such little rain means the capacity is a joke.

  • skat Apr 16, 2008

    I would love to hear how those of us on community wells with individual septic systems deplete the groundwater levels. Every drop we pull from the well goes right back into the ground. We just move it from one location to another. Politics...sheesh.