Local News

Despite Increased Water Levels, Rocky Mount Still Conserving

Rocky Mount leaders are taking steps to ensure the city doesn't risk running out of water again.

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ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. — Seven months after falling water levels forced Rocky Mount officials to close boat-access points on the Tar River Reservoir, boating and fishing are back.

And thanks to recent heavy rains putting the city's main source of drinking water about a foot above normal, the city last month scaled back to Stage I water restrictions.

But Water Resources Director Wayne Hollowell said Wednesday that some conservation is still needed in case of another dry summer.

"It's not only what you see on top, it's what's in the ground, too," Hollowell said.

Hollowell says the city will also continue construction of a pipeline to Wilson – one it started when it appeared the reservoir could run dry.

It's one of several backup plans in place.

"We learned quite a bit, and we gained a lot of valuable information," Hollowell said.

All 100 North Carolina counties continue to experience drought conditions. Gov. Mike Easley on Wednesday called for local leaders to continue to be proactive in water conservation measures.

Under Rocky Mount's scaled-back restrictions, which took effect March 12, water customers can now water their lawns either Wednesdays and Saturdays or Thursdays and Sundays from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Residents can also wash their vehicles at home and power wash and clean outside structures. (More information on Stage I mandatory restrictions.)