Raleigh Asks Neighboring Communities To Enforce Mandatory Water Measures
Posted November 14, 2005 10:01 a.m. EST
RALEIGH, N.C. — Raleigh leaders are asking other municipalities that receive water from the Capital City to begin enforcing mandatory water restrictions and fining customers who violate the conservation measures.
The Raleigh City Council voted Nov. 1 in favor of mandatory water restrictions that limit how water customers in Raleigh and surrounding communities -- Garner, Rolesville, Wake Forest, Knightdale, Wendell and Zebulon -- use water.
Since city inspectors began issuing citations last week, 95 people have been fined. Of those, 18 were in Garner, Rolesville and Wake Forest, where Raleigh city inspectors have jurisdiction.
But Raleigh inspectors do not have privileges everywhere. In other municipalities, such as Knightdale and Wendell, only one warning has been issued; in Zebulon, no one has been warned or fined.
Leaders in Holly Springs and Fuquay-Varina say they get so little water from Raleigh, they have not even been looking for violators.
Raleigh City Manager Russell Allen said there are kinks to work out in the water restrictions, which are being used for the first time since they were created after the 2002 drought.
"This is one of those learning experiences," Allen said. "It may be we have to insist that our contract customers have ordinances in place that blankets their coverage and are required to have that enforcement."
Under the city's Stage 1 mandatory restrictions, violators are fined $50; all of the fines collected from water violations go to the Wake County School System.
The town of Wendell will decide if city staff will start handing out fines at a meeting Monday night.
The Raleigh City Council is expected to consider State 2 mandatory water restrictions, which would limit city water customers to watering their lawns only twice a week. It would also result in a $1,000 fine for first-time violators. Repeat offenders would have their water turned off.
If passed, it would be the first time that the Stage 2 water restrictions would be imposed.
The City Council's move comes as Falls Lake, Raleigh's main water supply, is 12 inches away from its lowest level in history. While water customers are conserving by as much as 20 percent, the lake level is still critically low, city officials said.