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More sprinklers, less ice water under Raleigh's new rules

The new rules allow people to use sprinklers and automatic irrigation systems three days a week, up from two, but it bars restaurants serving water without a request.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — The City Council on Tuesday approved a revised set of water restrictions that are based on recommendations from an advisory panel.

The new rules allow people to use sprinklers and automatic irrigation systems three days a week, up from two days. Residents with odd-number addresses will be allowed to irrigate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, while those with even-number addresses can turn on the sprinklers on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

Automatic systems can be used between midnight and 10 a.m., while sprinklers can be used from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. or 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on the assigned days. Watering with a hand-held hose will continue to be allowed any day.

The council added a prohibition on wasteful water use, so people caught watering driveways, sidewalks or streets could face fines.

Indoor water restrictions that the council approved include banning restaurants from serving glasses of water to customers who don't specifically request it. Also, hotels and motels must ask guests spending more than one night to use towels and bed linens more than once before they are laundered.

The new rules apply to all customers on the municipal water system, including residents of Raleigh, Garner, Knightdale, Wendell, Zebulon, Wake Forest and Rolesville.

First-time violators will received a written warning, and officials will impose a $50 civil penalty for a second violation and $200 penalty for a third violation. A fourth violation will result in interruption of the customer’s water service, officials said.

This is considered the first phase of changes for Raleigh's year-round water rules. By the end of the year, officials said, other changes could be in store for landscapers and developers to promote water-efficient projects.

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