Local News

Wake Forest Aims to Remedy Water Woes

Posted July 5, 2007 8:15 p.m. EDT
Updated July 5, 2007 10:08 p.m. EDT

— More people are moving to Wake Forest. That means more homes are tapping into the water system, and that is causing problems, according to town officials.

“The residents who are moving into our new subdivisions are using water at a higher rate than, say, the residents that were here 15 years ago,” said Deputy Town Manager Roe O’Donnell.

Wake Forest purchases its water from Raleigh. The town can draw up to 4.9 million gallons a day, but its daily use is closing in on that maximum. The problem is in-ground irrigation, officials said.

“I think it’s more of a regular to keep your grass watered more regularly. You can set it on a timer,” said Susanne Brown, a Wake Forest resident.

Town administrators said in-ground systems are used more frequently because they're on timers, and they're becoming a staple for new homes.

Wouldn’t so many new houses create more of a burden on the water supply? The town’s answer: Not under a new agreement with future developers.

“We have commitments from those developers not to use in-ground irrigation systems that are connected to potable water,” O’Donnell said. More than five developers have signed on for construction in Wake Forest with the town's new restrictions, officials said.

Homeowners also said they'll work with the town to address the problem.

“Conservation is important. We try to follow that, and I would assume everyone else is doing the same thing,” said resident Frank Murray.

Town officials also hope Raleigh's "even-odd" day restrictions will lessen the pressure on Wake Forest's water situation.

If the situation gets worse, the town might either stop issuing building permits or buy additional water capacity from Raleigh.

Wake Forest is one of several suburban towns that Raleigh's water system serves. The others are Garner, Knightdale, Rolesville, Wendell and Zebulon. All of those customers are under mandatory year-round water restrictions, too.