WRAL Investigates

Raleigh breaks own watering rules at amphitheater

Posted October 13, 2010

— The city's year-round water restrictions prohibit residents and businesses from using sprinklers on Mondays, and crews at Raleigh's new downtown amphitheater now know that rule by heart.

After a WRAL News employee spotted sprinklers soaking the lawn at the venue on Monday, a city spokeswoman initially defended the watering.

Jayne Kirkpatrick told WRAL that the amphitheater had a permit that allowed it to use sprinklers on Mondays, but Ed Buchan, environmental coordinator at the Raleigh Public Utilities Department, said the permit expired a while ago.

Kirkpatrick later said amphitheater workers were using hoses to do the watering – watering with hand-held hoses is allowed any day under the city's regulations – before acknowledging that the city made a mistake.

Mayor Charles Meeker said the city needs to set a better example.

"There needs to be some personal responsibility. Whoever is in charge needs to correct this so it doesn't reoccur," Meeker said.

Raleigh breaks own watering rules at amphitheater Raleigh breaks own watering rules at amphitheater

Buchan said the amphitheater operators will get a warning letter for violating the water rules. If it happens again, they will be fined, he said.

"They do understand now that they have to comply with the alternate-day irrigation rules," he said. "It's always frustrating when people don't follow the rules."

The city has issued 19 warning letters so far this year for water restrictions violations, but no fines have been imposed yet for any second offense.

Some Raleigh residents said city workers should have known the rules.

"The same rules should apply to them that apply to residents of Raleigh," Lamont Campbell said.

Other residents they could understand if the incident was an innocent mistake.

"I watered my lawn on Monday, and I didn't know. Unfortunately, these things happen," Dan Warren said.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • Troy Sr Oct 14, 2010

    If the city was fined who would they pay the fine to?

  • enorman Oct 14, 2010

    Notice also that it's being feed directly from a hydrant meaning that it's probably not being metered and not held accountable toward the city's daily usage.

  • Lightfoot3 Oct 14, 2010

    Seems like city spokeswoman Jayne Kirkpatrick has problems with telling the truth.

  • OGE Oct 14, 2010

    Love how they will not put up one post saying how awesome
    (sarcasm) it is WRAL is hunting for people breaking water restriction rules!

  • FromClayton Oct 14, 2010

    good job WRAL! (and i dont say that to you very often!) Keep bringing us stories like this and holding people all the way up to the top accountable for their actions!

  • WHEEL Oct 14, 2010

    Meeker and Allen don't believe in rules. They think they apply to the peons only. Like having signed contracts before spending MILLIONS in City money and then claiming it is SOP.

  • lkanzig Oct 13, 2010

    SHOCKING!!! DUH! dont you people know the politicians can do whatever they want to do?!?

  • As if .... Oct 13, 2010

    Just look at all the green grass in most of the higher end subdivisions in Wake Forest and you know that they are watering EVERY DAY no matter what restrictions. I know that from first hand knowledge.

  • dmccall Oct 13, 2010

    These watering rules are absurd. They DON'T stop North Raleigh people from overwatering their lawns at the wrong times of day. (Data suggests that this was the largest human factor in causing Falls Lake to run into emergency levels a couple of summers ago)

  • umop apisdn Oct 13, 2010

    I'm glad WRAL tackles the tough stories. This is relevant to my interests.