04/04/06 — City asks residents to watch water use

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City asks residents to watch water use

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on April 4, 2006 1:57 PM

Drought conditions are back, and city residents have been called on to conserve water whenever possible -- again.

Goldsboro City Council made a declaration of voluntary conservation of water at its first meeting of the month Monday, nearly six months to the day after Mayor Al King made the same call.

The order came at the recommendation of Public Utilities Director Karen Brashear, who said water levels at the Neuse River remain below the trigger for conservation measures, despite recent rainfall in the region.

"It's time," she said. "Right now, we're just below the 52-foot trigger. It's really been dry out there."

Under voluntary conservation, residents and businesses are asked to reduce the amount of water they use. Recommended ways to accomplish this include taking showers instead of baths, reducing lawn and garden watering and checking water lines for leaks and breaks.

Conservation measures are outlined in the City of Goldsboro Water Shortage Response Ordinance, which was approved by council in 2002. Under these guidelines, when water levels at the Neuse River intake fall below 52 feet at Mean Sea Level (MSL), voluntary conservation takes effect.

Mrs. Brashear said the levels at the Neuse are currently below the trigger, around 51.8 feet MSL.

Council members urged the public to take their declaration seriously and to limit water use whenever possible to avoid mandatory conservation down the road.

City Manager Joe Huffman added his thoughts about the issue, and asked residents to be more responsible this time around.

"The last time we were under voluntary conservation, we saw very few behavior changes," he said, adding that North Carolina is facing a drought and all residents should take that fact seriously.

More information on drought conditions and conservation tips can be found at www.ncdrought.com.