Local News

Raleigh residents: Water at will

Posted May 1, 2012 4:11 p.m. EDT
Updated May 2, 2012 6:30 p.m. EDT

— RALEIGH – Raleigh home and business owners can water their lawns every day if they want after the City Council voted Tuesday to lift long-standing limits on water use.

The City of Raleigh put "permanent conservation measures" in place in 2007 when much of the state faced drought conditions.

Ed Buchan, an environmental coordinator for the city, said that the restrictions meant less revenue for the city. Because Raleigh's two water reservoirs, Falls Lake and Lake Benson, are above what is considered full, selling more water will help boost revenue.

"It's a double-edged sword, Catch 22, whatever cliché you want to use," Buchan said. "We are an enterprise fund, and we have to sell water to collect revenue from fees to make our budget goals."

Customers, including residents of Raleigh, Garner, Knightdale, Rolesville, Wake Forest, Wendell and Zebulon were asked to run sprinklers only twice per week – once on a weekday and once on weekends – based on their street address. Violators of the limit faced fines and serial violators could see their service cut off.

Raleigh water customers also had to deal with rate increases. Because of conservation efforts, the city tried to raise revenue to meet operating expenses.

This July, customers will see a 15 percent increase in what they pay for sewer use.