Local News

Raleigh City Council Votes To Maintain Stage 2 Water Restrictions

Posted January 4, 2006 5:24 a.m. EST

— The Raleigh City Council Tuesday voted in favor of keeping the city's Stage 2 mandatory water restrictions in place, citing concern about rising water usage in the coming months.

With Raleigh's main water source, Falls Lake, only at about 60 percent capacity, the Council voted to keep the restrictions to improve the water supply for spring and summer usage, when water usage is typically higher.

"The concern is possibly the lake would not be full at the start of next summer season if we use more water this winter, so we are going to do everything we can to get the lake full so come next May, we'll be set for summer," said Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker.

In December, the City Council lifted some restrictions on businesses, such as power washers and construction companies, which require water to operate. At Tuesday's meeting, Council members discussed the possibility of amending the Stage 2 restrictions to assist private contractors that install swimming pools and spas. The Council will discuss it further at its Jan. 17 meeting.

Raleigh officials imposed Stage 2 water restrictions on Nov. 2 when Falls Lake was critically low -- at its lowest point since a summer drought in 2002.

Under Stage 2 restrictions, first-time violators can be fined $200; a second offense can result in a $1,000 fine; and a third offense will result in water service being shut off.

With Stage 2 restrictions in place, city water customers are allowed to water their lawns only twice a week: Tuesdays and Saturdays for properties with odd-numbered addresses and on Wednesday and Sundays for even-numbered addresses.

Despite some opposition by members, the City Council also approved a measure

to sell the town of Wendell more water

. The agreement means a massive development planned to double the town can move forward. The developer would not move forward until Raleigh agreed to sell the town more than 1 million extra gallons of water a day.