Local News

Durham adopts year-round water saving measures

Posted May 4, 2009
Updated May 5, 2009

— The City of Durham is taking steps to make sure all residents and businesses are using water as efficiently as possible.

Beginning June 1, new year-round water efficiency measures will be implemented that will closely match those already in place for water customers in Cary, Raleigh and with the Orange Water and Sewer Authority.

“We enjoyed the collaborative process with our neighboring water providers to develop consistent year-round water efficiency measures,” Vicki Westbrook, deputy director of Durham's Department of Water Management, said in a statement.

The ordinance aims to help newcomers, like Edith Eleanor Addison, adhere to watering rules. She has lived in Durham 11 days and has been busy working in her yard.

"I love to play in the dirt and plant flowers. I love gardening,” she said.

Addison was so excited to get planting; she hadn't yet looked up rules about watering.

“I don't know very much at all,” she said.

With Durham watering rules being in-sync with neighboring areas, learning about restrictions should be easier.

"People can easily understand restrictions are the same here, Cary or Raleigh,” said James Lim, Durham's conservation coordinator.

Durham's new outdoor irrigation schedule applies to all spray irrigation systems and allows customers to irrigate on the following schedule:

  • Odd-numbered addresses may water once on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays before 10 a.m. or after 6 p.m.
  • Even-numbered addresses may water once on Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays before 10 a.m. or after 6 p.m.
  • No watering will be allowed to occur between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. on allowed watering days.
  • No customers will be permitted to water on Mondays.
  • Temporary licenses will be allowed to establish new landscapes.
  • Hand-watering and drip irrigation systems are not restricted.

Beyond consistency, municipalities also hope working together to develop similar watering rules will help prevent droughts.

"If we are more efficient as a community, we can help prolong our supply,” Lim said.

That is something Addison said she is already trying to do by planting vegetation that requires little water.

"I love my planet,” she said.


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  • heelrox May 5, 2009

    Dig a well and tell Durham to shove it. Or like others have said pay more for less.

  • ThisIsMyName May 5, 2009

    They should ban automatic repeating time-set irrigation systems... for both residential and business property.

  • time4real May 5, 2009

    maybe they should adopt year round schools so that they too can be trend setters like wake county!

  • FoxtrotUniformCharlieKiloakaCALM May 5, 2009

    next headline.....Durham raises water rates because of lack of revenue! they did that last year, paying more for less,
    iron fist

    thank you for doing what we asked you too...but because you listened now you have to pay more

    ahhh good ole wake county

  • thewayitis May 5, 2009

    Silly Durham, want to be like Raleigh and Cary, even in matters of extreme insanity. I'm in favor of water restrictions when there is a water shortage, but not all the time NO MATTER WHAT. Stupid! So I guess Durham wants to cut usage, so they can raise rates again, just like their neighbor cities. Gimme a break! Too much unnecessary government control.

  • iron fist May 5, 2009

    next headline.....Durham raises water rates because of lack of revenue!
    they did that last year, paying more for less,

  • ObamaMustGo aka NCcarguy May 5, 2009

    next headline.....Durham raises water rates because of lack of revenue!

  • yankee1 May 5, 2009

    Let's simply ban toilets and toilet paper and go back to latrines and leaves! That'll save both water AND trees! How WILL we make up for the lost revenue from using less water? Hmmmm, I wonder??????