Local News

Rocky Mount Calls for Voluntary Water Restrictions

Posted July 3, 2007 1:20 p.m. EDT
Updated July 3, 2007 6:57 p.m. EDT

— Water customers in Rocky Mount have been urged to tighten their taps.

City Manager Stephen Raper called for voluntary water conservation measures due to a water shortage.

The city has seen less than an inch of rain in the last month and is about 10 inches below normal rainfall for the year, said Paul Blount, the city's director of water resources.  The city's main water supply, the Tar River Reservoir, dropped 12 inches in the past two weeks, he said.

"To me, the six-month-long drought is a concern. I think it's going to be a tough summer," Blount said.

Rocky Mount is required to release a certain amount of reservoir water to protect areas downstream, so officials said it would take a significant amount of rain to get caught up.

Raper asked for residents to limit car washing and lawn watering and to run dishwashers and washing machines only with full loads. The official "Water Shortage Condition" and voluntary conservation begins Wednesday.

If the weather stays the same and voluntary conservation doesn't help, Rocky Mount could soon see mandatory restrictions, Blount said.

"(It could be within) a couple or three weeks, my guess," he said. "It's very dry."

Raleigh on Monday implemented mandatory water restrictions for its residents and those in several Wake County towns that purchase water from the city.

Fifty people were cited in the first two days for breaking the alternate-day outdoor watering rules. Violators face possible fines or having their water shut off.