Raleigh water use still under control

June 13, 2008 6:53:00 AM PDT
The record heat is on its way out, but not without making its mark on the region's water supply. Earlier this week, water use in Raleigh hit its highest total since last summer and more people appear to be irrigating when they're not allowed.

In North Raleigh, while many homes have yards well kept, grass is already turning brown and summer hasn't started. Public Utilities Director, Dale Crisp says they look beautiful. "If you see a truly brown lawn, it means they're not irrigating at all."

Crisp says the water use numbers show improvement despite the fact Raleigh customers used 66-million gallons on Tuesday. City Councilperson Nancy McFarlane says you can expect high numbers when you have extreme heat on an allowed-irrigation day.

"It's still much less than we've seen in this kind of heat in the past, so I think people really got the message about conservation," McFarlane said, but not everybody is following the rules.

Driving around Raleigh Thursday, we didn't find anybody sprinkling when they shouldn't be or irrigating on an off-day, but the city have found plenty of violators. Dale Crisp explains, "We have had some folks who haven't been as mindful of the restrictions as they need to be."

Thirty-three citations have been handed out by the so-called water police in just the past week ? most during the hottest days, but for the most part, the city is doing "ok" according to Crisp. "You're always gonna have some people that are gonna violate the speed limit, that are not gonna comply with the restrictions."

Falls Lake is full at this point and most Raleigh residents are still using less water than last year.

The Triangle is currently at a moderate drought level.


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