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Raleigh mayor: Stage 1 water restrictions to stay for now

Posted April 28, 2008
Updated April 29, 2008

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— Recent rain continues to ease drought conditions. With Falls Lake, the city's primary reservoir, now full, many people are asking if city officials should scale back water restrictions even more.

Stage 2 rules ended on April 7. Despite a lot of rain in recent days, however, Raleigh's mayor said Monday there are no plans to let up on water restrictions altogether.

“We don't know when the next drought is going to be. We've had three in six years. This could be a wet summer, this could be a dry summer. We don't know, and conservation is not something you can turn on and off overnight,” Mayor Charles Meeker said.

The prolonged drought and the dried-up lake prompted city officials to enact Stage 2 restrictions on Feb. 15, prohibiting the use of city water for outdoor irrigation and pressure washing. Car washes that weren't certified by the city also were forced to shut down.

Returning to Stage 1 rules allowed residents with odd-number addresses to water their lawns on Tuesdays, while those with even-number addresses can use their sprinklers on Wednesdays. People can use a hand-held hose for watering on those days, as well as on Saturdays for odd-number addresses and Sundays for even-number addresses.

"One day a week is just the bare minimum for this time of the year, as we move to the hotter months. It just does not provide enough water," said Daniel Currin, a vice president with the N.C. Green Industry Council.

Curran said Raleigh has some of the toughest watering rules in the state. He would like to see city leaders ease restrictions further now that Falls Lake is full and water usage is down.

Customers are using 15 to 20 percent less water in Raleigh than they were a year ago.

"What we would like to see is more like two to three days a week, just restrict the hours so home owners are encouraged not to over-water their yards," he added.

A citizens committee will meet once a week to discuss water restrictions. They are expected to make recommendations in early July.

"I'm not sure the one day a week really is going to change for irrigation. That may be the rule going forward," Meeker said.

Raleigh water customers face the toughest restrictions in Wake County. Residents in Cary, Apex, Fuquay and Holly Springs are allowed to water three days a week on an alternating schedule.

  • Do you want to ask Mayor Meeker a question? CLICK HERE.
47 Comments

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  • tarheel1980 Apr 29, 2008

    You missed my point Ranger. I am not talking about the water table. I am talking about using the water instead of dumping it in the ocean where it is no good to anybody. The excess water that is being sent downstream in the Neuse is not going to help the water table either. At least the citizens should be allowed to use it and pay the city rather than dumping it. I am for conservation, not waste.

  • tarheel1980 Apr 29, 2008

    "Just so you know, if you have fescue, or pretty much any other type of grass for that matter, the best way to water is one time per week, approximately 1 inch."

    Any idea how long it takes to get 1 inch of water on 1/4 acre of grass using a hose-end sprinkler? It is impossible in the time allowed by these restrictions.

  • slick rick da troll whisperer Apr 29, 2008

    Just so you know, if you have fescue, or pretty much any other type of grass for that matter, the best way to water is one time per week, approximately 1 inch. So, with the current water restrictions, you should be able to maintain a healthy lawn. Just don't over fertilize.

  • Jeepguy Apr 29, 2008

    The City of Raleigh needs the water revenue and restrictions will hurt that. They will get the revenue in other ways. Durham and Cary lifted their restrictions a lot quicker because of the loss of revenue. Durham's Stage 3 is different from Raleigh's stage 1. Durham can run irriation 2 times per week and unlimited hand watering. Raleigh is one time per week of irrigation and 2 times per week of hand watering. Hand watering should not be restricted...

  • Jeepguy Apr 29, 2008

    Irrigation should go back to the year round restrictions that are already in place. Hand watering should not be restricted. In the landscape industry it is hurting us having to hand water only on Wednesdays and Sundays (for even addresses) and Tuesday and Saturday (for odd addresses). I cannot have my employees work all weekend without lossing a lot of money. Let us handwater when needed and not on specific days. It is the most efficient way to water plants.

  • Whatintheworld Apr 29, 2008

    People are worried about the grass, when just a few weeks ago all we knew was we had a few months of water left. Before - "we need rain, I wish it would rain, save every ounce of water, we need rain! Now - I wish it would stop raining, lets water our grass, I hate rain, can I water my grass! Hey, here is an idea, lets start selling our water to Iraq! We can make some money, and they can get our water, and we will still have enough to water our grass! The whole thing in a nutshell is this, you can not please people,. whether you have the water or not, somebody is going to be mad. North Carolina is HOT in the summer with humidity, if you don't like it, LEAVE. Also, somebody voted Mr. Meeker into office. If you don't like it, vote him out. Then get on the ballot yourself, and get voted in and do a BETTER job. We are STILL in a drought!

  • Cricket at the lake Apr 29, 2008

    Slip Kid, You missed the point - water restrictions are government interferance. Poor growth management in Raleigh and the citizens will pay for it. There are people that thought it was never going to rain again. Just like that global warming.

  • foetine Apr 29, 2008

    so does this mean I'm going to get fined for flushing my toilet during a weekday?

  • 12345_here Apr 29, 2008

    Meeker is a complete tyrant.

    He authorized the garbage disposal ban without any empirical data, and here he is keeping people from watering lawns without empirical data.

    He is a tyrant with poor logic and should be booted from office.

  • PeaceOut2017 Apr 29, 2008

    They want to keep water usage low so they can claim they're losing water revenue so they can jack up the price of water....wait, they already did that!

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