Local News

Decision On Mandatory Water Restrictions Could Come Tuesday

Posted October 4, 2005 5:20 a.m. EDT

— The dry weather is causing problems for people trying to keep their yards green, but if water usage does not decrease, city leaders could impose mandatory water restrictions.

  • Related Link:

    City Of Raleigh's Water Recommendations

  • Despite continuous pleas to conserve water, people are not doing so.

    On average, Raleigh city customers use a total of 60 million gallons of water daily. On Friday, however, the city measured 59 million gallons used; 56 million gallons on Saturday; and 61 million gallons on Sunday.

    City Manager Russell Allen said he will look at the lake levels and the forecast one more time, but without a 10 percent drop in water usage, it is very likely that he will recommend mandatory water restrictions to the Raleigh City Council on Tuesday.

    "People have to understand how critical the water supply is," Allen said.

    The Harrington Meadows Community just had everyone's lawns reseeded. If the seed dries out, the grass cannot grow.

    The community's fall newsletter tells residents to do as much as they can under the city's restrictions on water. But by following the suggestion to water just every other day, residents say they do not have much hope their laws will improve.

    "We are paying $30 to $40 a month in fees and we can't do anything with it," said Harrington Meadows resident Rob Feltey.

    Allen realizes the water restrictions are an inconvenience.

    "I'm sure there is some inconvenience with all of the restrictions. That's why we were very cautious about putting them in place," he said. "But it is more inconvenient not to have adequate water supply," he said.

    For weeks now, lawn care professional Greg Parrish has only been seeding yards with sprinkler systems. With drought conditions, he is finding that even ground sprinklers used every other day, there is no guarantee seed will grow.

    Parrish and other lawn experts are now changing their strategy.

    With the growing season lasting until the end of October, they are now putting down seed but telling customers not to water until after a good rain.

    "Those seeds that do germinate after the rain, there will be a lot better chance of it surviving than watering it and not getting enough water for response," Parrish said.

    That concept could actually help conserve water and the city says Raleigh's water supply needs all the help it can get.

    If the City Council does vote to implement mandatory restrictions Tuesday, customers in Wake Forest, Rolesville, Knightdale, Zebulon, Wendell and Garner would also have to abide by them since Raleigh supplies water to all of eastern Wake County.

    Allen said inspectors will be out Wednesday if a mandatory water restriction is imposed and that there will be no warnings. The city will issue $50 fines for people who do not follow the rules. For repeat violations, the fine increases, Allen said.