Local News

Goldsboro Makes Water Restrictions Mandatory

Posted September 17, 2007 10:14 p.m. EDT
Updated September 17, 2007 10:33 p.m. EDT

— Effective at midnight Monday, the city of Goldsboro will move from voluntary to mandatory water-conservation measures.

Residents will only be allowed to water their lawns once a week, and no car-washing will be allowed.

Tornadoes and storm damage aside, Friday night's heavy rain helped the drought. The downpours gave Falls Lake an additional three days' supply of water, but the lake is still only 42 percent full, about 6 feet below normal.

Falls Lake is Raleigh's main water supply. It also feeds Goldsboro's Neuse River supply. Last week, the Neuse River was less than 2 feet deep in places, which is about half its average depth.

City officials expect the river to be that low again by the end of the week.

“We feel that this drought is more serious than in 2002. All trends are showing it is more serious,” said Karen Brashear, Public Utilities Director for Goldsboro.

Officials said they hope the new measures will protect the city's diminishing water supply.

“Now is the time to really conserve as much as we can and keep as much water in Falls Lake as we can,” said Terry Brown, water manager for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Because Falls Lake is low, the Corps is reducing how much water it releases into the Neuse River, and that has tightened Goldsboro's water supply even more.

"At this time, we don't need to be taking any more water out of the river than absolutely necessary," said Brashear.

Until enough rain falls to help fill the lake, the supply downstream is questionable for every community that depends on the Neuse for water.