Local News

How Much Could Raleigh Mayor's Water Proposal Cost?

Posted January 7, 2008 11:44 p.m. EST
Updated January 8, 2008 12:17 a.m. EST

— Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker is urging all city customers to use no more than 25 gallons of water a day. He warned Monday that the cost of water could go up, and low-flow water devices may be required inside homes.

Many homeowners with whom WRAL has spoken over the last several months are trying to conserve water, whether it is taking shorter showers,  minimizing how often the dish washer runs or something else. But with the mayor calling for people to upgrade their homes, it could cost anywhere from $200 to $600.

Ron and Paula Myers started conserving water long before the Triangle fell into a severe drought. A master bathroom that the Myers added two years ago is outfitted with water-saving equipment, from the toilet to the faucets.

“You can press this button and what the pump does, it pumps water from the hot side to the cold side and then after 30 seconds, you've got hot water immediately at the faucet,” Ron Myers said.

This way, Myers said, the family doesn't have to run the water until it gets hot.

David and Peggy Mackowski worked on the Myers' bathroom. They said that while retrofitting a home with low-flow equipment can be costly, in the long run, it is well worth it.

“If you get into the faucets, the toilet, fixtures for a bathroom, putting in tank-less water heaters, that can actually add up to $10,000 to $12,000,” David Mackowski said.

For the "do it yourself" homeowner, the cost of upgrading a home to conserve more water can be reduced with a visit to a home improvement store.

For example, a shower gadget that increases pressure without bumping water usage runs about $10. Low-flow shower heads start at around $40.

“People are coming in wanting options, asking questions and seeing what they can do to abide by these restrictions and to see what they can do where it doesn't inconvenience them as much,” Lowe's employee Barrett Pagan said.

Homeowners can also do little things, like reusing water for irrigation and checking for silent leaks in their toilets.

The mayor said the city will work with non-profit groups to help low-income families purchase water saving devices.

The Raleigh City Council plans to discuss Meeker's water conservation plan at a meeting Tuesday.