Local News

Raleigh Puts Clamp on Lawn Watering With Rules, Penalties

Posted July 2, 2007 7:55 p.m. EDT

— For some people who get their water from the Raleigh city system, it's too late. The warning is at the door, and fines could follow.

For everyone, mandatory watering restrictions took effect Monday, and inspectors were out, searching for people ignoring the new rules. Monday is a no-watering day for everyone.

In Rocky Mount, the city issued a call for voluntary restrictions because of the dropping level of the city's Tar River Reservoir.

Raleigh's restrictions impact all customers served by the city, which includes Garner, Knightdale, Rolesville, Wake Forest, Wendell and Zebulon.

Odd-numbered addresses can water on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Even-numbered addresses can let it flow on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Those apply to mechanical systems, such as sprinklers. Hand watering – holding the hose yourself – is OK any time.

City Code Inspector Don Casterlin gave a warning to an owner of a new house with fresh sod.

“Because they have new sod down, they could have applied for a landscape establishment permit, that gives them 45 days to water their lawn every day to establish it,” Casterlin said.

It was not just when the owner was watering, however. It was where.

“The other big concern that we have is that they're basically watering the driveway here,” Casterlin said. If you've got to water, we understand, but please try to just water the lawn, not the driveway because it really doesn't do anything any good.”

Casterlin wrote 25 warnings Monday, including one to homeowner Kenny Larry.

“The neighbors run the water all day out here because of all the new houses. I kind of figured something wasn't right because there was no other water running today, but I didn't get any notice in the mail or anything, so luckily it's just a warning this time.”

The city will warn first time violators. A second violation costs $50. No. 3 costs $200. The fourth time, the city will shut off your water.

Right now, there are no restrictions on washing your car, but there could be if the city goes to the next level of restrictions. Whether that happens depends on the water level in Falls Lake, the city’s primary water source.