Local News

Wake Forest won't issue new irrigation permits

Posted May 27, 2008 2:50 p.m. EDT
Updated May 27, 2008 6:53 p.m. EDT

— The town of Wake Forest is no longer issuing irrigation permits for residents who plan on getting their water from the city of Raleigh.

The ban applies to all manual or automatic in-ground irrigation systems proposed to be connected to the city of Raleigh's public potable water system.

Those who get their water from other sources, such as wells or rain barrels, are not affected, and Deputy Town Manager Roe O'Donnell said if Raleigh ever introduces a reused-water system, the ban would not apply.

The Wake Forest Board of Commissioners voted unanimously last Tuesday to ban new permits in an effort to be proactive with water conservation, Mayor Vivian Jones said.

"We feel that water is a finite resource, and we need to be taking care of it," she said.
Growth is also another factor. Last summer, the town nearly reached its water-use capacity of 4.951 million gallons a day.

The decision, local developers say, is a problem for homeowners wanting to invest in their lawns. It's another challenge for them, Wake Forest developer Andy Ammons, of Ammons Building Corp., said

"Most of the folks that buy houses here have substantial investment in their yard, in their landscaping," he said. "So, they want to protect that investment."

Homeowners have mixed reactions. Some call the measure a good idea. Others say the answer is not new permits but ceasing development.

"You put more houses in, there's more water that's going to be consumed by more people moving in," homeowner Terry Batchelor said.

The ban is first for municipalities that rely on the Raleigh for its drinking water. Officials in the other areas – Garner, Knightdale, Rolesville, Wendell and Zebulon – have no plans to enact such a measure.