Local News

Wake Forest won't issue new irrigation permits

Posted May 27, 2008

— The town of Wake Forest is no longer issuing irrigation permits for residents who plan on getting their water from the city of Raleigh.

The ban applies to all manual or automatic in-ground irrigation systems proposed to be connected to the city of Raleigh's public potable water system.

Those who get their water from other sources, such as wells or rain barrels, are not affected, and Deputy Town Manager Roe O'Donnell said if Raleigh ever introduces a reused-water system, the ban would not apply.

The Wake Forest Board of Commissioners voted unanimously last Tuesday to ban new permits in an effort to be proactive with water conservation, Mayor Vivian Jones said.

"We feel that water is a finite resource, and we need to be taking care of it," she said.
Growth is also another factor. Last summer, the town nearly reached its water-use capacity of 4.951 million gallons a day.

The decision, local developers say, is a problem for homeowners wanting to invest in their lawns. It's another challenge for them, Wake Forest developer Andy Ammons, of Ammons Building Corp., said

"Most of the folks that buy houses here have substantial investment in their yard, in their landscaping," he said. "So, they want to protect that investment."

Homeowners have mixed reactions. Some call the measure a good idea. Others say the answer is not new permits but ceasing development.

"You put more houses in, there's more water that's going to be consumed by more people moving in," homeowner Terry Batchelor said.

The ban is first for municipalities that rely on the Raleigh for its drinking water. Officials in the other areas – Garner, Knightdale, Rolesville, Wendell and Zebulon – have no plans to enact such a measure.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • Leonardo May 27, 2008

    This is bad news for residents of Wake Forest. Wake Forest now gets its water from Raleigh. Back in 2005, WF turned over it's water system and water system debt to Raleigh. The agreement was made that WF residents would pay nearly double the rate for water that Raleigh residents pay until the debt was paid off. Before this announcement, it was estimated that the debt would be paid off by 2012.

    By eliminating new irrigation systems, it's going to take longer for the debt to be repaid, and Wake Forest residents can now expect to have to pay higher water rates beyond 2012.

  • dmccall May 27, 2008

    We have a SURPLUS of water, and we have a finite amount of room for saving. Any excess is currently spilled off and translates into higher levels of the Neuse River downstream.

  • veyor May 27, 2008

    If you want a pretty lawn, you'll have to move to Phoenix...they have plenty of water and are growing faster than Raleigh - in the DESERT!

  • SheriffTruman May 27, 2008

    Or, we can continue to enjoy the benefits of a growing area and actually be able to sell our houses for more than we owe at some point and just have the leadership stay ahead of the growth they know is coming and increase the supply.

  • atac001 May 27, 2008

    If the government is worried about water, why not stop the expansion of the area?? Makes sense to me. More People means more water consumption.

  • tarheel1980 May 27, 2008

    This is a reduction in services by local government. It is really horrible when you add on that the city of Raleigh now thinks it should charge more per gallon of water since they are not selling as much. Meanwhile, 550 million excess gallons a day are being sent to the ocean while Corps of Engineers fights to get the Falls Lake level down to the specfied height.

    How is it more wasteful for paying citizens to buy water for whatever they want to do with it than it is to send it to the ocean to be turned into salt water? There is no shortage of ocean water.

  • whatelseisnew May 27, 2008

    Well they can thank Meeker man for not matching growth to available resources. Raleigh should not have agreed to provide water to outlying towns in the first place. Going forward somebody better figure out what the maximum number of people and businesses is that can be supported by the available supply. Not only in normal rain periods, but more importantly during droughts.

  • DrJ May 27, 2008

    More do-gooding by local government.

    We have plenty of water during normal times, and restrictions can be enacted in a heartbeat if and when they are needed due to extended drought.

    Following common sense doesn't make the do-gooders feel good, though.