Local News

Durham Makes Water Restrictions Mandatory

Posted September 17, 2007 7:51 p.m. EDT
Updated September 17, 2007 11:09 p.m. EDT

— Water restrictions will be mandatory in Durham from Friday, with the goal of cutting daily demand by 20 to 30 percent, the city manager announced on Monday.

City officials asked residents to begin conservation efforts immediately and change their water usage habits before the city begins enforcing water restrictions on Friday.

All businesses are also ordered to reduce water consumption, preferably by 30 percent, and to document their efforts to do so.

"It is critical that our customers follow these mandatory water restrictions to ensure that there is an adequate supply of water for all," Durham City Manager Patrick W. Baker said. “We need to significantly decrease our daily water usage and our customers play a vital role in making sure we achieve this goal.”

Amid a parching statewide drought, stream flows into the two lakes from which Durham draws it water are well below expected levels. Water levels at both Little River Lake and Lake Michie have declined to 12.7 feet below normal.

The conservation restrictions stipulate that customers will:

  • Not watering of lawns, grass, trees, shrubbery, flowers, golf greens or vegetable gardens, except between 5 a.m. and 9 a.m. or 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Wednesday and Saturday.
  • Not add water to wading pools or swimming pools, except to the extent necessary to replenish losses due to evaporation or spillage and to maintain operation of chemical feed equipment.
  • Not use water to wash down outside areas such as sidewalks, patios, driveways or for other similar purposes.
  • Not add water to any decorative fountain, pool or pond, except where the water is recycled.
  • Not serve water in a restaurant or similar establishment, except upon request.
  • Not use water for any unnecessary purpose or intentionally waste water.
  • Not wash the exterior of a motor vehicle, except if a private well water system is used, 50 percent or more of the water is recycled or it can be demonstrated that 30 gallons of water or less were used to wash the vehicle.

Customers will receive a written warning for their first violation and notice for the second. At a third violation, water service to the customer will be terminated.

The city asked residents to report any water waste to Durham One Call at 919-560-1200 or online.

More information about the restrictions is available on Durham City's Web site or by calling the city's Department of Water Management at 919-560-4381.