Local News

Johnston County issues water shortage advisory

Posted June 28, 2010

— Johnston County officials issued a water shortage advisory Monday because of unprecedented high water demand and temporary limitations in the county's water distribution system.

The system can produce all the water customers need. However, the pipes that transport the water to residences and businesses are too small to handle recent demands.

"The highest we ever had was 11 million gallons per day. We pumped 13 million gallons per day this weekend. That is the max and we don't have the capability to pump any more than that," county spokesman Pat LaCarter said.

The water surge brought on by high temperatures pushed the distribution system near the breaking point.

"The official high in Raleigh today was 99 degrees after yesterday's 101 ... obviously those temperatures are well above the 30-year average," WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel said Monday.

In response to the water shortage, officials issued the advisory until the pipes can be replaced with larger ones. The project could cost as much as $7 million and is slated to be completed in May of next year.

The water advisory applies to water customers of Johnston County, including those in the towns of Clayton, Four Oaks, Princeton and Kenly and those served by private utilities Aqua N.C. and Utilities Inc.

While the advisory is in effect, customers are requested to employ voluntary conservation measures to limit water use and eliminate waste of water. Officials said water customers should try to refrain from washing vehicles and outdoor watering during the advisory period.

Dave Johnson, with Carolina Hydroseeding in Raleigh, says homeowners often water too long, particularly during the heat of the day when a lot of water is lost to evaporation.

"We do it 10 or 12 minutes and that is all,” Johnson said.

Fishel said rain is possible later this week and temperatures will be dropping.

"The high temperature Wednesday will be 82 degrees with lows in the 50s," Fishel said.

Anyone with questions or concerns about the water advisory can call Johnston County Public Utilities at 919-989-5075.


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  • working for deadbeats Jun 28, 2010

    When was the last time it rained for more than 5 minutes?

  • wayneboyd Jun 28, 2010

    Get ready Smithfield, your leaders are taking lessons from Wake County, you can cut back and save water or you can use it like it's going out of style, but the price is going to go up regardless. It's gonna be price gouging if you do and price gouging if you don't.

  • cwood3 Jun 28, 2010

    RB-yes-the Neuse River runs from North Raleigh(after they get their lawns watered and drinking water) thru Clayton and on to Smithfield. This tells us the river levels are dropping and a draught is returning.

    Mayor Meeker will jump into action any minute to supervise you folks water use. Big daddy Meeker is watching real close. You all in Raleigh better watch out!!

    Thank God my family lives in Clayton, and uses a well. I have plenty of water-thank you. (Next -these libs in Raleigh on Jones St. at the legislature will want to tax my well water)!!

  • Adelinthe Jun 28, 2010

    Doesn't the Cape Fear or Neuse River run right through Johnston County?

    How can they have a water shortage???

    God bless.


  • wcumom Jun 28, 2010

    w/o rain the wells runs dry too.

  • thought Jun 28, 2010

    with all the rain- there is a shortage??? I'm glas I have well water

  • bill52674 Jun 28, 2010

    Wonder how long before Meeker declares a State of Emergency for NC. He thinks he controls everything else...

  • scubadug Jun 28, 2010

    Today is only the 8th day of summer

  • lazerdoc Jun 28, 2010

    And in other news: Today is June 28th, it's hot, and Christmas will be on December 25th this year.