Low-flow deadline for Triangle residents

March 1, 2008 8:12:15 AM PST
Saturday is a drought deadline of sorts for hundreds of thousands of residents across the Triangle.

Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker wants all who get water from Falls Lake to install certain devices by the beginning of March -- but it appears most are not meeting the goal, and those who are trying may be having a tough time.

"This is probably one of the more popular heads that are out there." Hardware store owner Jim Garriss is seeing a minor financial flurry as a result of the on-going drought.

"Everybody's getting on board with this now," Garriss said.

He says business at Burke Brothers in Raleigh is booming for items like low-flow showerheads, faucet aerators and water reducing toilet devices. Garriss says many of the purchasers are buying in bulk. "Apartments, rental companies are buying those by the fistful to put in their units."

But it appears homeowners are slow to purchase low flow water items. Results of our recent poll showed just 30 percent of individuals had switched to low flow devices.

Mayor Charles Meeker wants everyone to have the water-saving fixtures by March 1, but Ed Buchan with Raleigh's Public Utilities Department explains, "It probably hasn't been overwhelmingly effective because we're not forcing anyone to do it. Until you actually say you shall do this, then they might not do it immediately."

While our exclusive Eyewitness News polls shows few people are making changes to save water, Garriss says he's had a hard time keeping certain items on the shelves. "Aerators which we are currently sold out this morning, we got an empty peg here on it, we're selling 20 or 25 at a time."

Home improvement store owners we talked to say they can hardly keep rain barrels in stock these days.

City officials are working with Home Depot to get more water-saving devices to customers. One idea would be to give low-flow kits out for free if people are will to sit in on a training session.


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